KARACHI, Sept 14: Sindh Minister for Culture and Tourism Rauf Siddiqi has said that the Jinnah International Safari Park, to be developed on 150-square-kilometres at a cost of Rs100 million, would be the biggest such project of Asia.

“It is the present government’s idea to provide maximum possible recreational spots to public,” he said, adding that the park was a project planned to be developed at Shah Belo, near Sukkur, that once had been a sanctuary of dacoits. The site, he said, had been retrieved and was now being given to the private sector on a “build, operate and transfer (BOT)” basis.

Talking to newsmen here, the minister said that completion of this project would help alleviate poverty and unemployment in Sukkur, Larkana, Jacobabad, Kashmor, Qambar and their adjoining areas.

He said that PC-II of the project had been completed and allocation made in the current year’s budget. He pointed out that a five-member project committee had been set up under his chairmanship. The chief secretary, additional chief secretary (planning and development), finance secretary and tourism secretary were the other members of the committee, he said.

Mr Siddiqi said the terms of reference for the project envisaged that the safari park would be constructed in the private sector on a BOT basis and for preparing its feasibility report, a seven-member committee was formed to get it ready in four-six weeks. Tenders for the purpose had already been invited, he added.

The minister stated that the park would have an artificial lake having a large variety of fish species, besides water sports and hunting facilities. It would also have a tourist resort, motels and restaurants around it. Small tourist buses and trains would be operated at the tourist site, he said.

The minister informed the newsmen that the Planning Commission had called for the appointment of a project director for which a letter had been sent to the chief secretary to depute the managing director of the Sindh Tourism Corporation to the post.

—APP

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