KARACHI: Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Saturday said the provincial government should utilise Rs700 billion that has been allocated in its budget for the projects in Sindh’s capital.
He said this while talking to journalists after unveiling the plaque for the groundbreaking ceremony of BRT Common Corridor from Taj Medical Complex to Municipal Park along M.A. Jinnah Road. The project is estimated to be completed by March 2022 at a cost of Rs2.26 billion. He along with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail also unveiled the plaque to commemorate the opening of Grade Works of BRT Common Corridor underground facilities at Numaish on M.A. Jinnah Road.
The minister said the Green Line project would be a milestone for a modern transport system in Karachi and the Green Line project was likely to be completed by the middle of next year. “People will be witnessing the Green Line on the roads in the middle of 2021,” he said.
He appreciated Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited (SIDCL) and Planning Development and Special Initiatives Division for the hard work and dedication in the execution of the Green Line project.
About the Karachi Transformation Plan, Mr Umar announced that good progress had been made on all its projects for which the federal government was responsible and speedy work was under way on the K-IV project and two projects of railways, Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and freight corridor from Karachi Port to Pipri, while the Green Line project was in the last phase of its implementation.
He said encroachment on storm-water drains were being removed to permanently solve the issue of rainwater. For this, he said, the Sindh government had started work from the Mehmoodabad area of Karachi. He said as soon as the encroachments were removed from the nullahs, the federal government would launch work on the project.
On the occasion, Governor Imran Ismail said the first mass transit project of Sindh would be inaugurated between July and September 2021 and Prime Minister Imran Khan was expected to perform its inauguration.
About the projects, he said the Grade Works of BRT Common Corridor Underground facilities at Numaish and groundbreaking of BRT Common Corridor from Taj Medical Complex to Municipal Park were part of the Rs1.1trillion Karachi Transformation Plan.
About K-IV water project, the governor said it was handed over to Wapda. He said Wapda would present its report to the prime minister.
He explained that the process to hire a consultant on the K-IV project had been completed.
Mr Ismail said the K-IV would be a big water supply project that would help cater the water requirement of Karachi.
He said he wanted to inform the people of Karachi that Mr Khan was worried about the people of Karachi. He was taking keen interest in the development works of the city. He said Mr Khan regularly sent Minister Umar to Karachi to review the progress of ongoing development works.
He then congratulated the SIDCL for its efforts and devotion shown in the execution of the development works. He said the element of transparency was being maintained in all the projects.
He said he was very thankful to Mr Khan and Mr Umar for taking personal interest in Karachi’s development.
In reply to a question, Mr Umar said that no ‘practical development’ work had been done in Karachi in the past. Currently, he added, work was under way on K-IV, KCR, cleaning of nullahs, and other projects.
He told another questioner that KCR was a modern transport project of Rs300 billion.
The federal minister responding to yet another question said around Rs200bn, including Rs65bn in Sindh, were being distributed among the needy, poor and deserving people through Ehsaas Programme.
About the twin islands of Sindh, Bundoo and Bundal, Mr Umar said the matter was being discussed with the provincial government. He explained that development work on the islands would benefit people of Sindh.
Completed at the cost of Rs425 million in around two years, the Grade Road Works of BRT Common Corridor Underground facilities at Numaish comprise three lanes in each direction, including service and link roads, footpaths, light poles, decorative poles, median fence and horticulture belts.
Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2020