KARACHI, Dec 20: City Nazim Niamatullah Khan and Chief Controller of the Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) Brig (r) A. S. Nasir visited the renovated historic place, Empress Market , on Monday and inaugurated a dedicated portion for prayers at this 120-year-old building.

Facility of separate toilets for men and women has been provided in the portion. Speaking on this occasion, the city nazim appreciated the KBCA chief's efforts towards restoration and renovation of the historic structure.

He noted that this national monument had remained a victim of neglect for decades due to which it had been suffering decay. He urged the KBCA to undertake similar projects for the renovation and restoration of other such sites and also ensure removal of encroachments around such structures.

Mr Khan was informed that the KBCA chief had initiated the renovation work of Empress Market some three years back and 70 per cent of the encroachments around it had already been removed. Besides, he also ensured cleanliness, whitewash and maintenance of this building, the nazim was told.

The expenditure incurred in the renovation work was borne by philanthropists who contributed generously in response to the KBCA chief's call. Niamatullah Khan pledged that the city government would beautify and renovate all the old markets in the city.

He said that old buildings were historical heritage of the city and in order to renovate and preserve them, the city government had been taking appropriate measures. He pointed out that the renovation of Gole Market in Nazimabad was part of the city government's initiative.

He directed the concerned officials to make sure that the renovation and beautification work did not affect the original structure, adding that services of experts in related fields be availed for the purpose.

MODEL PARK: City Nazim Niamatullah Khan has said parks were being developed in every town and union council under the city government's plan to beautify the whole metropolis.

"Model parks in all 18 towns and 178 UCs, besides construction of roads, flyovers and underpasses, would convert Karachi into a green model city,'' he added. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a model park in Malir Town on Sunday night, the nazim thanked President Gen Musharraf for appreciating his services for the development of the metropolis under the Tameer-i-Karachi Programme (TKP).

Mr Khan pointed out that the city government had put the city on the path of progress, adding that the fact was reflected in the statement of President Musharraf who had publicly admired his performance. He said that heaps of garbage were being turned into green parks.

He hoped that after completion of the TKP, Karachi would not loner remain an old city, rather a model city. He said that the city government had been undertaking development work in all parts of the city, and noted that such work is more needed in Malir.

Mr Khan observed that quality of development work was an evidence of the honesty and trust reflective in the policy of the city government. He said that the standards maintained in the work carried out in districts over the last three years could be compared with the work done by other agencies in the past.

"We ensure transparency and discourage culture of recommendations,'' he said referring to the abolition of self-financing scheme in the field of education as an example. "It is our firm conviction that the country needed honesty, merit and transparency,'' he said. Malir Town Nazim Naveedul Islam also spoke on the occasion. -APP/PPI

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