KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party-led Sindh government has allocated Rs8 billion in the provincial budget for fiscal year 2021-22 for a total of 19 infrastructure development schemes in Karachi, around Rs6bn more than what it had allocated for the metropolis in the outgoing financial year, it emerged on Tuesday.
However, the Rs8bn allocation in the head of ‘Mega Schemes for Karachi City’ in the budget for 2021-22 is not considered to be in proportion to Karachi’s population as well as the amount of revenue the metropolis contributes to the provincial kitty.
According to budget documents, the Sindh government has allocated Rs8bn for 13 new and six ongoing mega development schemes in Karachi for the next fiscal year compared to just Rs1.94bn it allocated for 19 mega schemes for the provincial metropolis in the outgoing financial year 2020-21.
The apparent reason behind the Rs6bn increase in the budgetary allocations is that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan-led elected local government system in Karachi had completed its four-year term in the beginning of FY 2020-21 and now bureaucrats have been running the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and District Municipal Corporations (DMCs) as their administrators for the past 10 months.
Rs1.94bn was allocated in the outgoing budget for the same number of megaprojects
Even in his budget speech in the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah criticised the performance of the elected set-up and praised administrators when he said that the KMC and DMCs “of Karachi have long been plagued with maladministration and poor resource generation. Their elected representatives had failed to steer them in the right direction. With the appointment of administrators things have started to improve”.
Rs6.6bn for 13 new schemes in Karachi
The CM said that the development portfolio of the Sindh local government department was set at Rs25.5bn for 264 ongoing and 291 new development schemes. “Rs8 billion is also proposed for Karachi mega projects. We will focus more on the ongoing schemes for their early completion and try to further minimise its portfolio for new schemes,” he said.
According to the budget documents, of the total Rs8bn allocation for Karachi mega schemes, Rs6.604bn is allocated for 13 new schemes while Rs1.395bn is earmarked for six ongoing projects in Karachi.
A sum of Rs1.6bn is allocated for the construction of a flyover at Jauhar Chowrangi; Rs1.1bn is earmarked for the construction of Shahrah-i-Noor Jahan from Abdullah College to Qalandaria Chowk in North Nazimabad; Rs995 million is allocated for the reconstruction/rehabilitation of Chakiwara Road, Mehrab Khan Essa Road and Tannery Road in Lyari; Rs450m for the construction of a road from Gulberg Chowrangi to UBL Sports Complex; Rs370m for the reconstruction of the road from Shershah Chowk to the Mirza Adam Khan Road intersection.
A total of Rs600m — Rs200m each — is allocated for three projects, rehabilitation and widening of road from Razzaqabad to Sheedi Goth Powerhouse, rehabilitation and construction of Rafiqi Shaheed Road from Sharea Faisal to Askari-II and rehabilitation of approach roads of Lyari Expressway; Rs261m for improvement/rehabilitation of internal roads/streets in surrounding areas of the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital, Karachi.
While the budget document is silent on the exact place of the construction of a proposed public park in district Central, Rs250m is earmarked for the purpose. A sum of Rs150m is reserved for the construction of Civic Centre at Mullah Fazal Auditorium Hall Chakiwara Road in Lyari.
A sum of Rs1bn is allocated for the rehabilitation of all major storm-water drains of Karachi while Rs800m is allocated for the rehabilitation/replacement/improvement of the water supply and sewerage system.
Matching grant for S-III, K-IV
In addition to the Rs8bn allocation, the provincial government has allocated a matching grant of Rs1bn for Greater Karachi Sewerage Plan, better known as S-III, and Rs800m for the Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme, also called K-IV, in the 2021-22 budget.
In the budget speech, the chief minister claimed that his government had reserved the highest chunk of foreign loans/public-private partnership mode projects for Karachi in view of its immense significance as the country’s financial hub.
“There are 16 PPP mode projects in Karachi for the estimated cost of Rs288.96bn initiated in road infrastructure, water, information technology and health sectors. Currently, there are six projects in Karachi collectively funded by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank signed in the last two years for the total approved cost of Rs436.68 billion. The allocation kept for the next FY 2021-22 is Rs39.619bn,” he stated.
Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2021