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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday launched the Karachi Transformation Strategy (KTS) project to improve physical and socio-economic infrastructure and service delivery in water supply and sanitation, transport, urban spaces, institutional strengthening and transformation.

The cost of the project is $98 million in which the World Bank share is $86m while the provincial government would pay $12m. The project involves public spaces and mobility improvements in selected three targeted neighbourhoods. They include Saddar downtown area revitalisation, Malir area road and public spaces enhancement and Korangi neighbourhood mobility improvements.

After unveiling the plaque, the chief minister with World Bank country director Patchamuthu Illangovan and provincial ministers inspected work on Kamal Ataturk Road, in front of the Karachi Museum.

Earlier, speaking at the launch of ‘Educational and Cultural Zone-Saddar area under World Bank assisted Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project’ at Burnes Garden, the chief minister said the Sindh government was putting in its efforts to transform Karachi into a more liveable, green and resilient metropolitan city by formulating and following a well thought out project.

Malir, Korangi, Saddar targeted to be transformed into more liveable, green and resilient localities

He said the World Bank had engaged itself in the KTS to support the Sindh government vision and had carried out a comprehensive Karachi City Diagnostic (KCD) programme. The KCD is an unprecedented endeavour to collect comprehensive data on the city’s economy, liveability, and key urban infrastructure; providing an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing the Karachi Metropolitan Region and estimates investment levels needed to bridge the infrastructure gap and improve the metropolitan region’s economic potential.

In the light of the depth and scale of the city’s challenges in terms of policy reforms, institutional governance, and infrastructure needs, the provincial government and the World Bank have agreed to launch a dual-track approach. Under the first track, the bank is supporting a ‘quick wins’ operation under the Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project (KNIP) focusing on `fast, low-cost and high-impact’ interventions to respond to emergent city needs. From this start, the engagement would be a transition to the deeper institutional reforms and major investment needs identified under the KCD.

These reforms would focus on priority areas such as building a competitive business environment, improving city governance and municipal service delivery, and increasing access to water supply and sanitation for implementation of major KTS initiatives to transform the city, KNIP to improve the safety, accessibility, and attractiveness of public spaces in Karachi, such as streets, parks, city squares and pedestrian areas.

Saddar has a high concentration of civic, education, cultural and commercial uses, and a large number of daily visitors and passersby. The sub-projects include upgrading of roads and streets, sidewalks, and pedestrian crossings, open spaces, reorganising traffic patterns and closing certain street segments and rehabilitating infrastructure and storm-water drains under roads upgraded by the project.

Education and cultural zone

It forms a triangle, including Dr Ziauddin Road from Shaheen Complex to Pakistan Chowk, Deen Muhammad Wafai Road from the Arts Council to Pakistan Chowk, and M.R. Kayani Road from Shaheen Complex to Fawwara Chowk/Arts Council Chowk, Shahrah-i-Kamal Ataturk from the Sindh Secretariat gate to D.J. Science College.

The second level includes an underground car parking facility with public space such as food centres on Shahrah-i-Kamal Ataturk. The underground car parking of 10,000 square metres each to accommodate 400 cars and 600 motorbikes will be developed on international standards. This intervention will greatly alleviate the congestion caused by the haphazard street parking as it caters for the existing and projected demand of parking for the Sindh Secretariat, educational institutes, museum, neighbourhood and commercial areas.

Shaheen Complex intersection and junctions

The spaces in the Arts Council complex are designed to improve its connection within the complex.

The cost of the project is Rs1.44 billion to carry out works in the Educational and Cultural Zone done in the end of February. These works are planned to be completed in 10 months. In the second phase, food and recreational zone, and administrative zone would be established in Saddar.

Malir area road and public spaces enhancement

The KNIP in Malir involves rehabilitation and improvement of Khokhrapar Road from Saudabad to Thado Nullah. The three-kilometre road has three lanes on both sides with service road, where available. The main features of the project include provision of road safety features and traffic control devices. It is a Rs733m project and it would be completed within six months.

Korangi neighbourhood mobility improvements

This is a Rs694m project. In the first phase (year one) of the KNIP in Malir involves ‘Rehabilitation and improvement of 9000 Road from Coast Guard Chowrangi to Ibrahim Hyderi’. It is a 3km dual and single carriageway road to be developed from Coast Guard Chowrangi to Ibrahim Hyderi.

The programme was attended by provincial ministers Syed Nasir Shah, Syed Sardar Shah, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, country director of the World Bank Patchamuthu Illangovan, chairman of P&D Mohammad Waseem, principal secretary to CM Sohail Rajput and others.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2018