KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the solution to the city’s public transport issue lies in the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway.
Terming the KCR an environmentally feasible project, the CM hoped that the federal government would not only generously finance the K-IV water project but also extend financial support to the circular railway project in the port city, which generates 70 per cent of national revenue.
He said this while talking to media after inaugurating a sports complex built by the Dawoodi Bohra community at Talpur Road here on Wednesday.
The CM congratulated the Bohra community for building such a state of the art sports complex — Al-Nadi Al-Burhani.
He said the KCR was included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. He hoped that now a joint working group (JWG) had been formed the KCR project would see the light of day very soon.
He urged the federal government to extend financial support to the KCR like the Orange Line project in Lahore.
Inaugurates sports complex built by Dawoodi Bohra community; terms K-IV an ill-conceived project
“Karachi is the hub of trade and industry and generates huge revenues, therefore in return it must be repaid in the shape of its development,” he said.
“Now we are working on the KCR and it would be established with the help of China,” he said, adding that the project would be 41 kilometres long and would feed all the bus rapid transit (BRT) lines.
K-IV termed ‘ill-conceived’ project
To another question, he said that the K-IV was an ill-conceived project and its cost was increased manifold after initiating work on it.
“The federal government [had] committed to share 50 per cent cost of the project when it was approved at Rs25 billion and now it has reached Rs75bn,” he added.
Mr Shah recalled that when Prime Minister Imran Khan had visited Karachi he had briefed him about the K-IV project and its rising cost. The prime minister had shown his support and cooperation for the completion of the project, he added.
When a journalist drew his attention towards a list of politicians and bureaucrats, which contains his name on top, being investigated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the chief minister said he was not worried as the list did not have any official signature or stamp.
He said he was going to Islamabad to attend the meeting of the Fiscal Coordination Committee in which the World Bank-sponsored projects would come under discussion and the input of provincial governments would also be sought for future projects.
Foreign Service delegation calls on CM
Addressing a delegation of Foreign Service of Pakistan officers at the CM House, Mr Shah said Sindh was a resource-rich province with sixth largest coal deposits in Thar, vast corridors of renewable energy and best irrigation system.
“We have to take benefit out of them and we are on the right track,” he said. “We have tried to invest in its infrastructure development and in its industrial areas, but the federal government has not supported the provincial government’s endeavours.”
He said at the Thar coal project the mining work was in full swing and the power project was near completion.
“By the end of December 2019 we will start power generation,” he said, adding: “It would be a great realisation of Benazir Bhutto’s dream and it would be the beginning of an end to the energy crisis in the country.”
Talking about renewable energy, Mr Shah said that the wind corridor of Jhimpir, Thatta had the potential of generating 50,000 megawatts.
“We have taken an impressive start and generating over 1,000MW from the wind corridor and also working on solar energy generation,” he said, adding that the people of Sindh had already started switching over to solar energy.
“If you go to rural areas of Sindh you would find solar panels installed on almost every third house because they are experiencing worst power outages,” he said.
To another question, he said that the irrigation system of the province was one of the best in the world. “Our system is efficient but it suffers from water shortage and we started canal lining so that conservation can be [done].”
Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2018