KARACHI: During his visit here Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting to review the progress of ongoing development projects under Karachi Transformation Plan (KTP).
Governor Sindh Imran Ismail, Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for Railways Azam Swati, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Zaidi, Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal and senior government officials attended the meeting.
The Prime Minister was briefed on the restoration of three major nullahs of Karachi viz Mahmoodabad, Gujjar and Orangi and two rivers of Malir and Lyari including construction of roads astride Nullahs, laying of sewerage system and relocation of utilities. Chairman NDMA said that NED Study/Survey of all the nullahs was completed and anti-encroachment drive was in full swing. He said that 100% and 98% progress was respectively achieved on Mahmoodabad and Orangi nullahs, while 89% encroachments removed from Gujjar Nullah. Similarly, 97% and 90% dredging and cleaning works respectively of Orangi and Mahmoodabad nullahs were complete, while 79% progress was achieved on Gujjar Nullah. The work on RCC walls of Mahmoodabad Nullah was nearing completion, while it will soon pick up the pace at the other two nullahs. The PM was informed that all the remaining civil works will be completed by June 2022.
The Prime Minister was also briefed on the latest update of the Green Line and Orange Line BRT projects. The Green Line Operations will commence by October this year, as 80 busses will be arriving at Karachi port from China by mid-September 2021. Similarly, on the request of Sindh Government, SIDCL is also procuring 20 buses for Orange Line, which are expected to reach Karachi by December 2021.
Chairman Wapda briefed the PM on K-IV project for supply of water to Karachi. He informed that the city was currently drawing 1,200 cusecs (665 MGD) including 100 MGD from Hub Dam. The mega-polis was facing severe shortage of water. In order to mitigate the miseries of the denizens of Karachi, K-IV project was conceived/executed by the Government of Sindh and co-financed by Sindh and Federal Governments. However, it remained in limbo for over a decade. Now, the Federal Government (Wapda) was executing the project. The Prime Minister was informed that the joint cross-sectional survey was completed up to 85 kilometers and unified consultants and international staff from ILF mobilized. The final design was likely to be completed by October 2021. Civil works will commence by February, 2022. The project is likely to be will be completed by October, 2023.
The Prime Minister was then briefed about the railway projects viz. Freight Corridor from Keamari to Pipri Marshalling Yard and Modern Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).
The Freight Corridor project, which envisages construction/duali-sation/upgradation of a 50-km dedicated freight corridor from Karachi Port to Pipri and includes the development of an Inland Container Depot / Marshalling Yard at Pipri. The Project is expected to capture 40% of the cargo meant to be transported to the upcountry.
The feasibility study of the project has been submitted by the Transaction Advisor. The project is expected to be floated in the market in October 2021.
The KCR project envisages construction of a 43-km long world-class affordable mass transit system, using environment friendly electric trains. The draft feasibility study has been submitted. Once the transaction structure and bidding documents are approved by Public Private Partnership (P3) Authority (P3A) the Project is expected to be floated in the market by November 2021.
The PM directed Wapda to ensure the availability of clean and sufficient water for Karachi as early as possible while adopting all the technically feasible and economically viable methods. He also directed all other officials to ensure completion of all these projects within the timelines, committed by them, as he was keen to inaugurate them as soon as possible for the welfare and benefit of the Karachiites.
The Prime Minister said the early completion of federal government projects in Karachi and early launch of newly announced works, were among government's key priorities. At the moment, Prime Minister's concern and attention is on Karachi city, as the Metropolitan City has a unique importance for being the economic hub and financial capital of Pakistan, said Asad Umar.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021