KARACHI: Amid rising electricity tariff, the city administration has decided to install solar-powered street lights on major thoroughfares.

For this purpose, the installation, maintenance and control of street lights would be outsourced under the World Bank-funded Competitive & Liveable City of Karachi (CLICK) project.

The initiative was announced by Mayor Barrister Murtaza Wahab while chairing a meeting at his office on Monday.

In the first phase, the project will be executed on three major roads and would gradually expand to all the 106 roads under the administrative control of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).

In first phase, Sharea Faisal, Shahrah-i-Iran and Marine Drive to have solar-powered street lamps, says mayor

“In the first phase, we are going to initiate the project on Sharea Faisal, Marine Drive and Shahrah-i-Iran which is also known as Shahrah-i-Firdousi with a cost of Rs1 billion,” a statement issued by the KMC quoted the mayor as telling the participants of the meeting.

“The project is part of the CLICK programme and tenders for these three roads have already been issued. We are going to convert the street-light system across the city to solar power,” he said, adding that the parties to be selected for these roads would be responsible for keeping street lights operational and maintaining them for five years.

The mayor was of the view that the solar-powered street lights would help in lowering the electricity bills of the KMC. It would also make the system loadshedding free, he said.

“Along with building infrastructure, bridges and roads, an effective and functional street lights system in the city is very important. For that particular objective, it’s crucial that we build a sustainable system that keeps roads lighted without any disruption due to any reason that includes power supply suspension and loadshedding,” said the mayor.

He directed the officials concerned to make sure timely completion of the first phase of the project so that it could be expanded to other roads. He also asked to keep the process transparent and smooth.

“It’s our resolve to restore the lost glory of the city and for that the people of Karachi and other political stakeholders of the city may come forward and join hands for the development of this city,” he added.

‘Efforts on to recover missing children’

Separately, Mayor Wahab met a delegation of the Roshni Helpline at his office on the occasion of International Missing Children’s Day.

He said that the KMC would raise awareness among the public about missing and exploited children so that innocent children could be protected from begging in the city.

Efforts would be made to recover missing children and prevent their exploitation with the full cooperation of other institutions, he added.

“Children are our future and their protection is our responsibility. Whatever measures are necessary to save our future generations from exploitation will be taken,” he said, adding: “NGOs working in this regard are deserving of praise.”

He said that the KMC would work with Roshni Helpline to recover missing children and arrange awareness programmes and display awareness messages at public places so that people know how missing children were being used and how they were being treated.

The mayor said that Roshni Helpline’s emergency service 1138 would be linked with the KMC’s helpline so that both the organisations could work together.

Roshni Helpline head Dr Muhammad Ali said that his NGO had been working to prevent child abduction since long.

“The role of parents is extremely important in preventing child abduction. Children are not only abducted but newborn also stolen from hospitals, which needs to be stopped,” he said.

He thanked the mayor for his cooperation.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2024

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