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The caretaker government deserves a lot of praise for entering into two inter-governmental framework agreements with the emirate of Dubai at World Economic Forum in Davos recently.

These projects, according to media reports, are in relation to railways, economic zones and infrastructure. One of the projects is said to be aimed at the construction of dedicated freight corridor.

This rail-based project is planned to traverse from Karachi Port in the Arabia Sea through Karachi city to Pipri Marshalling Yard, covering about 50 kilometers. This project aims “to alleviate congestion in Karachi, enhance road safety, and significantly boost efficiency while reducing overall logistics costs”, according to media report.

This city of teeming millions deserves to have this project without any further loss of time. A large number of Karachi areas have been facing the traffic congestion issue for quite some time. In recent years, however, the situation has aggravated so much so that the entire city is affected by traffic congestion.

This city has been facing uncontrolled noise of traffic emanating from a wide variety of sources such as buses, rickshaws, motorcycles, trucks, water tankers, bull dozers, and machine drills, etc.

A study carried out by Liaquat National Hospital University in 2010 on traffic noise pollution in Karachi had concluded, among other things, that “Karachi is facing an enormous problem of exceedingly high levels of traffic noise, which is significantly higher than all the available international data. Vast number of people is at risk of developing noise induced hearing loss, Psychological, Cardiovascular or other systemic disorders in due course of time”.

In my view, the setting up of the rail-based Karachi Port Trust-Pipri Marshalling Yard will certainly help reduce traffic congestion and traffic noise in Karachi in a significant manner.

Hence the need for initiating and expediting work on this project as early as possible. The party or parties that come to power as a result of the Feb 8 general elections must ensure completion of this project on a fast-track basis. Needless to say, Karachi has suffered too much for too long.

Mehdi Hasan,

Karachi

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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