KARACHI, March 15: Three firms have been short-listed out of a number of parties that had responded with expression of interest (EoI) to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) for contracts pertaining to the Rs60 billion Malir Expressway project.
The estimated cost puts Rs18 billion for construction and the remaining amount for administrative and other expenditure.
The proposed expressway — a 47-kilometre-long dual carriageway starting from the Jam Sadiq Ali Bridge (Korangi) up to 13 kilometres ahead of Toll Plaza on the Superhighway — will cater to the needs of heavy vehicular traffic originating from the Karachi port and coming from Hyderabad. Each side of the carriageway along the embankments of the Malir River will have three lanes.
Highlighting the salient features of the Project, KMC Administrator Mohammad Hussain Syed told Dawn that the project on its completion in five years would reduce the distance between the port and the carriageway’s end point by 17 kilometres as compared to other routes connecting the Karachi port and Hyderabad. It would also save traveling time by at least one hour and 10 minutes, he added.
Furthermore, the carriageway would serve as an alternative route between various towns and the Superhighway and thus reduce the vehicular traffic burden on the city’s major thoroughfares such as M.A. Jinnah Road, Sharea Faisal, S.M. Taufeeq Road and Shahrah-i-Pakistan, said Mr Syed.
The administrator said that once given the go-ahead by the Sindh government’s Public-Private Partnership Board the project could take off within the next six months.
About the project’s current status, he said that KMC had already established the project’s directorate and constituted its procurement committee.
Giving technical details of the project, KMC works & services director-general Altaf Hussain G. Memon said that the consultant concerned was supposed to prepare a detailed feasibility report within a month which would be provided to the three short-listed contracting firms/investors (the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), Malir River Greener (MRG) and M/s Friends). The board, headed by the Sindh chief minister, would then be approached for seeking post facto approval of the project, he added.
Regarding the development of the expressway and the adjoining realigned link roads, he said that as soon as the Malir River land was transferred to KMC by the Board of Revenue, the corporation’s master plan department would get a 50-metre right of way (RoW) on each embankment of the river and the link roads — having a total length of 23.5 kilometres from the National Highway up to the Superhighway — for construction. When asked about the primary source of revenue from the project, Mr Memon said it would be through toll tax to be charged from expressway users.
In reply to a question, he said that Landhi, Malir, Malir Cantonment, Manora Cantonment, Saddar, Shah Faisal and several other towns and cantonment boards would benefit from the project in addition to the heavy vehicular traffic running between Hyderabad and the Karachi port.