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KARACHI: Sindh government couldn't utilize the funds released for mega-projects in Karachi fully in the financial year ended on June 30, 2021 as the expenditure came to 83 percent against the funds released during the whole year. The utilization figures for the whole fiscal showed that against the total allocation of Rs1.94 billion in the budget of year under review, provincial government released Rs1.66 billion.

The utilization of funds, however, came to Rs.1.38 billion, which was 71 percent of the total allocation and 83 percent of the amount released during the fiscal ended on June 30, 2021. Sindh government had allocated the funds with a separate head "mega development projects of Karachi" but the amount for it was meager in view of the population size of the city.

The funds utilization improved in the third and last quarters of the fiscal year, which was slow at the beginning of the financial year. The budget execution report of Sindh government for the period under review stated that the entire allocation of Rs1.94 billion was made for 18 ongoing development schemes - the projects which had been approved in the previous budgets - and one new scheme for which a paltry sum of Rs9 million was allocated.

The new "mega-scheme for Karachi" related to providing and fixing of traffic lights, gantries and signboards and carrying out of the rehabilitation/beautification of roads as city is facing massive infrastructure problems, which has been causing troubles to citizens of Karachi. The ongoing schemes included construction of a U-turn at Natha Khan Bridge, construction of an underpass at the Submarine Chowrangi, rehabilitation and improvement of Karachi Zoo, construction of a road from Tank Chowrangi to the Super Highway, and construction of a flyover at the Tipu Sultan intersection, etc.

Besides, it included the widening and reconstruction of the Stadium Road, rehabilitation and improvement of roads in surrounding areas of Lea Market, widening of the bridge over Orangi Nullah near the Habib Bank Chowrangi, construction of an SWD from the Star Gate to Chakora Nullah on Shahrah-e-Faisal and reconstruction and rehabilitation of a road from the Jam Sadiq Bridge to Dawood Chowrangi.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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