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PM announces Rs.162b package to transform Karachi infrastructure

KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday unveiled a mega development package worth Rs 162 billion to transform Karachi by uplifting its transport, water and sewerage infrastructure.

Chairing a meeting of Karachi Transformation Committee here, the prime minister said the package comprised total 18 projects of those 10 related to public transport and seven for water and sewerage.

He said though the development of Karachi was supposed to be the provincial government’s responsibility, they did nothing for the metropolis.

He said the federal government faced fiscal deficit of Rs 600 billion after allocating Rs 2 trillion for debt servicing, Rs 2.5 trillion for provinces’ share and Rs 1700 billion for defence.

He said Sindh government received its full due share under NFC but they showed lack of concern towards Karachi’s development.

He said the development package was not just to appease the people rather it manifested the federal government’s belief that Pakistan could never progress without the developing Karachi.

He said during the previous years, Karachi had faced infrastructural deterioration that had compelled the investors to divert their investment to other markets.

The prime minister strongly called for a massive awareness drive for water conservation and cited the models of Australia and England which made great efforts to conserve the natural resource despite receiving sufficient rains.

He said the K-4 water supply project for Karachi was a complicated solution and the government could make considerable quantity of water available through conservation.

He said the development projects, under this package, would be executed through public private partnership and BOT basis.

The prime minister emphasized the need for a master plan of Karachi to discourage mushroom growth. He also called for interim decisions till the finalisation of the master plan.

He said there was a need to curtail the spreading construction in Karachi city which gave a look of a concrete slab from aerial view.

He said the massive construction activities were eating up the green areas besides making it difficult for the government to provide amenities and maintain law and order.

He said once the decision was made to stop city’s urban growth, the focus would automatically be shifted toward development of slums within the city.

He said keeping in view the shrinking green areas, the government had decided to encourage vertical construction all around except in landing and take off zones of the airport.

The prime minister said the federal government had already announced to launch Insaf Sehat Card scheme in Tharparkar, it would also provide Rs 1 billion for RO plants besides setting up two mobile hospitals and providing four ambulances for the area.

The federal government would also establish a university in Hyderabad, he added.

He said he would keep in constant contact with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail to ensure proper implementation of the said projects.




M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.