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KARACHI: Karachi Development Authority (KDA) Director General Syed Muhammad Ali Shah Wednesday said that work on Karachi’s Master Plan 2047 was under way and its feasibility has been approved in which Karachi’s poor infrastructure will be completely revamped to state-of-the-art infrastructure as per international standards.

Exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), he said KDA was playing its part in the K-IV project as well by undertaking necessary infrastructure development projects linked with K-IV as it has been observed that there were several areas where water supply network was unavailable for supplying water under K-IV project which was a very important project for the city, he added.

While agreeing to KCCI’s suggestion of forming a committee between KDA and KCCI to promptly resolve KDA-related problems being faced by business community, assured that he would recommend addition of Karachi Chamber’s representative in KDA’s Governing Body wherein members were currently being added.

DG KDA, while referring to BRT Project, said that many buses were already plying under Green Line Project and some more buses for Orange Line Project have also arrived which will be completed soon and work on Red Line Project will also start shortly. “All these projects were being fully facilitated by KDA wherever required as the institution was keen to improve the infrastructure and transportation system of Karachi”, he said, adding that these projects will be completed within the shortest possible time as it was already too late. These projects would have been initiated around eight years ago, which would have certainly saved Karachi from the current crises-like situation.

He said that there was a lack of coordination between KDA, SBCA and Water Board which often created problems during development works but it has addressed now by improving coordination with all the relevant departments.

As allocations to KDA have been enhanced in this year’s budget, the public will witness substantial improvement in terms of infrastructure development, the DG KDA opined.

BMG Chairman Zubair Motiwala, who joined the meeting online, stressed the need for improving connectivity and liaison between KCCI and KDA by nominating focal persons so that the issues being faced by the business community could be resolved at the earliest. “If linkages between KCCI and KDA are strengthened, this would be widely welcomed by the entire business community as it would surely help in resolving 90 percent of the issues”, he opined.

He said that Karachi has become a jungle of buildings whereas the city faces a lot of problems due to poor infrastructure, water, gas and electricity shortages and poor sewerage system. “If any fire eruption incident occurs in any multi-story building, the fire department is not even equipped with snorkel to deal with the situation which is really worrisome. All these issues being faced by Karachi require special attention and collective efforts otherwise, the city will remain stuck up in civic issues”, he said and extended full support and cooperation to KDA for all its endeavors to improve the infrastructure and living standards in Karachi.

KCCI President Muhammad Idrees, while welcoming DG KDA, stressed that keeping in view the grievances being suffered by Karachiites, KDA must come up with out of the box solutions on war footing basis to improve the poor infrastructure and living standard in Karachi. “Strategies have to be defined on how to resolve issues being faced by people of Karachi while the Karachi Chamber is always available to fully assist KDA in this regard,” he added.

He mentioned that people from all provinces pour into Karachi for bread earnings as it was the largest metropolitan of the country yet the city suffers badly due to various reasons, particularly the limited amount of funds either being allocated to KDA or being generated by KDA itself which have to be enhanced. “Development funds have to be brought at part with other metropolitan cities of the region including Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Dhaka, etc, which receive hundreds of billions for development and maintenance works.

To improve the standard of living in Karachi, KDA has to be provided funds not only from the provincial kitty but also from the national exchequer as it was this institution which was responsible for development of the city’s infrastructure. “Karachi needs a meaningful and result-oriented Master Plan which has to be devised at the earliest as we have been hearing about Master Plan since many years but nothing, in this regard, has been materialized so far,” he added.

He said that encroachments, illegal constructions, unlawful parking, rising activities of Qabza mafia and misuse of public parks etc. were the most serious issues being faced by Karachi which can easily be witnessed in all areas of Karachi, particularly the commercial localities. “This is an area where DG KDA has to concentrate the most and take strictest action against illegal constructions as well as encroachments.”

Muhammad Idrees, while stressing the need to make collective efforts, requested DG KDA to form a committee wherein the Karachi Chamber must be given representation and a focal person from KDA must also be nominated so that the issues could be brought into the limelight and amicably resolved at the earliest.

Vice President Qazi Zahid Hussain, Chairman Housing, Construction & Real Estate Sub-committee Asif Sumsum, Former President Younus Muhammad Bashir and KCCI Managing Committee members along with large number of businessmen associated with real estate and construction sector attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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