KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday reiterated the importance of uplifting Karachi’s infrastructure and linking ports with the city’s communications infrastructure, which he believed would give a push to the country’s economic activities and boost its exports.
Chairing a meeting at the PM House in Islamabad to discuss various development projects in Karachi which are funded by the federal government, he said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government was determined to play its role in the development of the city and welfare of its people.
The resolve for Karachi from the prime minister came for a second time within a week as only last week while addressing an inauguration ceremony of the federal government-funded projects at the Governor House, Mr Khan had expressed his personal commitment to the development of Karachi, the business capital of the country.
The fresh meeting in Islamabad was also attended by Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Haider Zaidi, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, other federal ministers and senior officials. During the meeting, the prime minister called for a special focus on the issues related to water filtration, sewerage and water pollution in Karachi.
“The country’s development is linked with that of Karachi,” a statement issued after the meeting quoted the prime minister as saying, adding that the he was briefed on the status of the development projects worth Rs162 billion announced by the federal government.
“The prime minister was informed about the current status of all projects, including those which have been completed and those being executed under public-private partnership,” said the statement. “The meeting was told that the projects, including Sakhi Hassan, Five Star Chowrangi and KDA flyovers, 6.4-kilometre Nishtar Road and a portion of Manghopir Road, had been inaugurated last week. The meeting also discussed the infrastructure of Bus Rapid Transit System, which would be completed by March 2021. Moreover, 95 per cent work on 66-inch water supply line had been completed and rest of the work would be completed by April this year.”
The recently completed projects in Karachi were launched in September 2018 on the recommendation of the Karachi Transformation Committee which is headed by the Sindh governor. These projects have been completed under the Public Sector Development Programme by the Sindh Infrastructure Development Company, which works under the Cabinet Division.
The completed projects include the signal-free corridor with a length of 16.75km from Surjani to Lasbela, which comprises six bridges, including 700-metre-long bridge built at Sakhi Hassan intersection, 675m-long bridge at Five Star Chowrangi and 700m-long bridge at KDA Chowrangi.
Regarding the upgrade of the fire-fighting system of the Karachi Municipal Corporation, the meeting was apprised that up to one billion rupees had been spent so far on the project and around 50 fire tenders would be included in the fleet. The prime minister was also briefed on the construction of a flyover at Jinnah Avenue, operation of Green Line and development projects in other areas of Sindh under the prime minister’s package, including water filtration plants, upgrade of Lyari Expressway and widening of Karachi Northern Bypass, said the statement.
Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2020