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Friday Sep 04 2020

PM Imran’s Karachi Transformation Plan worth Rs802bn revealed

People wade through the flooded road during monsoon rain, as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Karachi, Pakistan August 27, 2020. — Reuters

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will unveil a massive development plan for Karachi worth Rs802 billion during his visit to the city tomorrow, according to papers seen by Geo News.

The Karachi Transformation Plan (KTP) has been prepared on the directives of the prime minister to address the city’s major problems including sewerage, transport and provision of clean drinking water to the masses.

Recent torrential rains wreaked havoc in the city claiming dozens of lives and exposing the delipidated infrastructure of the city.

According to the documents, the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) — worth Rs300 billion — has been included as one of the projects under the Rs802-billion KTP's mass transit systems. While China would provide Rs250 billion, the government of Sindh would add Rs50 billion to the project.

Six mass transit system projects worth Rs447.43 billion would be announced under the KTP.

Among the development projects are eight sewerage projects, four solid waste management projects, two water drainage projects, and various road construction and repair projects costing an estimated Rs162.60 billion, Rs14.86 billion, Rs4.70 billion, and Rs62.30 billion, respectively.

Rs723.25 billion were needed more for the completion of the transformation plan as Rs32 billion have already been allocated to the development projects in the current year’s budget while Rs47.18 billion have been spent so far.

Authorised administrator, local govt

A day prior, PM Imran had observed that Karachi's issues were primarily due to divided administrative powers and that that had time and again drawn the attention of federal and provincial governments.

In a high-level meeting he chaired on the KTP, the PM had said it was unfortunate that the resolution of numerous challenges that the people of Karachi face — including provision of clean water, sewerage, solid waste management, cleaning of nullahs, and transport — had been ignored in the past.

Read more: PM Imran says Karachi's problems primarily due to divided administrative powers

The unprecedented torrential rains of August laid bare the administrative lacunae, leading to heightened challenges for Karachiites — something the Centre was fully cognisant about, the premier had said during the meeting.

It was the need of the hour that powers pertaining to the municipalities be delegated to an authorised administrator or local government, he had added.

PM 'extremely concerned'

In this regard, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail had told media last night that the premier was "extremely concerned" for Karachi, especially after the recent spell of rain that disrupted daily life in the metropolis.

Speaking during Geo News' current affairs programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath, Ismail had said the worried PM and his aides had hammered a comprehensive plan to address the city’s issues.

All the issues of the mega-city had been discussed in the KTP, he had said.

Related: PM Imran extremely concerned for Karachi, says Sindh Governor

“The Karachi Transformation Plan was definitely shared with the Sindh government,” he said.

“To my understanding [regarding the coordination between the Centre and the provincial government], Asad Umar briefs PM Imran after discussing the plan with all the stakeholders in the province.”

CM Shah unaware

Ismail hoped that Sindh government would extend its full support to the Centre in implementing the plan for the residents of Karachi.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, on the other hand, had commented on how he neither had any knowledge of PM Imran's plans nor knew about his schedule of the city.

Read more: Karachi traders say rain caused them losses worth Rs50bn

Sources, however, informed Geo News on Friday that PM Imran Khan would be arriving in Karachi this weekend, accompanied by officials of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and his party's top leadership.

He would meet Ismail and Shah, as well as lawmakers, coalition partners, and members of the business community, and visit the Karachi Stock Exchange (PSX), the sources added.

Pakistan's progress linked to Karachi's prosperity

He would present short-, medium-, and long-term plans and announce federal funds for transport and development projects in the port city.

Late August, the prime minister had directed concerned authorities to finalise the KTP in consultation with all stakeholders for its in-principle approval and implementation.

The Planning Ministry had prepared and showed a presentation on the KTP as well.

Pakistan's progress and development were linked with the prosperity of its economic hub, Karachi, PM Imran had said.


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