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KARACHI: Lyari Expressway plan reviewed

April 24, 2004

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KARACHI, April 23: Federal Communication Minister, Senator Babar Ghouri, said on Friday that no hinderance in the construction of multi-billion rupees Lyari Expressway would be tolerated.

He stated this in a meeting held with the officials of National Highway Authority at PNSC Building here. The meeting was also attended by nine MPAs representing the areas affected by the construction of the expressway.

In the meeting, it was decided that as proposed earlier, the service road will not be constructed and that owners of leased houses will be given compensation at market price first before demoltion of their houses.

All the nine MPAs, who represented their constituencies along the alignment of Lyari Expressway, opposed the service road and finally the idea of its construction was dropped.

However, they assured the NHA about availability of land for construction of required ramps at the sites of four inter-changes of the expressway. Replying to questions by newsmen, the minister said that the Expressway would be completed on the target date of November 2004.

He told a questioner that the delay had been caused as the city government could not provide cleared space to the NHA for construction of the road. Moreover, there were issues pertaining to leased houses and court cases.

On the occasion, Member Operation NHA, Aziz informed the minister that the federal finance minister was requested for release of anouther tranche of Rs 500 million for payment of compensation amount.

Senator Babar Ghouri assured that he would take up this matter with the finance minister. Earlier, in a presenation on the occasin, the Project Director Yusuf Barakzai, informed the communication minister that 2 pls 2 lane Lyari Expressway, having a total length of 16.5km, from zero point Sohrab Goth to Keamari, will be completed at a cost of Rs5.1 billion.

He said that for the first year, the traffic volume on this expressway has been estimated at 34,000 vehicles. The expressway will have Toll Plazas at four locations. It was informed that as per programme 15,000 housing units are to be demolished as a result of which some 100,000 people would be affected and shifted to alternative sites of Hawksbay, Taisar and Baldia Towns for rehabilitation.

The minister took up the issue of leased houses and it was decided that no leased house will be demolished until the owner is paid the compensation amout at market price.

REHABILITATION: The process of rehabilitation of shiftees in Hawkesbay and Taisar Towns under the Lyari Expressway rehabilitation project is progressing fast.

The availability of all basic facilities in the newly-developed settlements for shiftees has been ensured. These include roads, through fares, water, electricity, street lights, transport, health and education facilities, playgrounds, parks, community and shopping centres, etc.

Meanwhile, the Project Director, Lyari Expressway Resettlement Project, Shafiqur Rehman Paracha, has decided to regularly sit in the office at Hawkesbay and Taisar Towns. He will be available to people at Hawkesbay Town every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at Taisar Town from 9am to 11am.

Similarly, he will also meet the people through an open kutchery on the first and third Sunday of every month at Hawkesbay and on second and fourth Sunday at Taisar Town from 1 am to 1 pm. -APP