Sindh govt to replace Metropole Hotel with modern park for children, elderly

Updated 05 Sep 2019

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THE routine traffic congestion around the Metropole Hotel on Wednesday evening.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
THE routine traffic congestion around the Metropole Hotel on Wednesday evening.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has decided to acquire the Metropole Hotel land to prevent the construction of a high-rise on its place and instead develop a modern park for children and elderly people.

He also decided to acquire a portion of the Sindh Club on the corner for widening of the left turning of the road from the Metropole Hotel towards Clifton to ease traffic flow. He directed the commissioner of Karachi to talk to the owners of the hotel and the Sindh Club management for acquiring their lands and report to him within 10 days.

These decisions were taken by Mr Shah while presiding over a meeting on Wednesday here at Chief Minister House. The meeting, attended by Minister for Local Government Nasir Hussain Shah, CM Adviser Murtaza Wahab, P&D Chairperson Nahid Shah and experts of the P&D and other departments, also discussed the need to construct two underpasses — one at the Metropole traffic signal and the other at the Avari Hotel to make signal-free the passage for the traffic coming from Clifton to Saddar and for the traffic of Saddar towards Cantt Station, respectively.

Commissioner given 10 days to negotiate with hotel owners, Sindh Club management for land acquisition

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that the Metropole Hotel land was located in the centre of the four most important and busy roads where traffic volume remained considerably high almost round the clock and as such “construction of any high-rise building on the land of the hotel would cause further congestion of traffic in the area and will create serious environmental issues.”

Mr Shah said the construction of a beautiful park for children and elderly people would be best for environment of the city which was getting more and more polluted. “Onward all the projects,” he said, would be developed keeping in view the environmental conditions of the city, capacity of the roads and sewerage system and provision of all other facilities.

Referring to the traffic jam issue on the left turning of the road from Metropole towards Clifton as the traffic going towards Club Road stops at the traffic signal and blocks the entire turning and causes frequent traffic jams, he suggested that a portion of the Sindh Club on the corner also be acquired for widening the left turning of the road.

Two underpasses planned

The chief minister said that there was a dire need for two underpasses, one on Abdullah Haroon Road at the Metropole Hotel traffic signal to make the traffic coming from Clifton to Saddar signal-free and the other may be constructed at the Avari Hotel towards Fatima Jinnah Road to give signal-free passage to the traffic from Saddar towards Cantt Station.

The chief minister directed P&D Chairperson Nahid Shah to prepare estimates and proposals for both the underpasses and submit to him for further action.

He said he was also considering construction of an underpass on Club Road towards Sultanabad to get the traffic between both the hotels signal free.

Bridge over causeway

The chief minister said that the destruction of Korangi Causeway by hill torrential deluge had created serious problems for the people of Korangi.

It has completely disconnected Korangi from the Defence area. The alternative route being used by the people of Korangi was passing through the industrial area where traffic jams were a routine matter.

He said he wanted to construct a bridge on the causeway so that the flow of traffic and movement of the people could be hassle free. He worked out a map of the area and decided to prepare a detailed plan after adopting engineering solutions.

The chief minister was told that the Yellow Line project had also suggested construction of a flyover from Baloch Colony bridge to Korangi. This would also cover the causeway.

At this the chief minister directed the P&D department to consult with Yellow Line project people and meanwhile he would construct a bridge on the causeway. “I would prepare its sketch keeping in view all the traffic requirements of the area and hand it over to the P&D for moving forward through their experts,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2019