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National

Web Desk
March 12, 2018
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CM Murad launches $98 m WB-assisted project to make Karachi livable

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the Sindh government is putting in its efforts to transform Karachi into a more livable, green and resilient metropolitan city by formulating and following a well thought out Karachi Transformation Strategy (KTS) with the objective to improve physical and socio- economic infrastructure and services delivery in water supply & sanitation, transportation, urban spaces, and institutional strengthening and transformation.

This he said while addressing the launching ceremony of “Educational and Cultural Zone-Saddar area under World Bank assisted Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project” here at Burns Garden this evening.

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The program was attended by provincial ministers, Syed Nasir Shah, Syed Sardar Shah, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Country Director World Bank Patchamuthu Illangovan, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput and others.

He said that the World Bank has engaged itself in Karachi Transformation Strategy (KTS) to support Sindh government’s vision and has carried out a comprehensive Karachi City Diagnostic (KCD) program.

The KCD is an unprecedented endeavor to collect comprehensive data on the city’s economy, livability, and key urban infrastructure; providing an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing the Karachi metropolitan region and estimates investment levels needed to bridge the infrastructure gap and improve the metropolitan region’s economic potential.

In light of the depth and scale of the city’s challenges in term of policy reforms, institutional governance, and infrastructure needs, the provincial government and the World Bank have agreed upon to launch a dual-track approach.

Under the first track, the Bank is supporting a `quick wins’ operation under Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project (KNIP) focusing on `fast, low cost & high impact’ interventions to respond to emergent city needs. From this start, the engagement would be a transition to the deeper institutional reforms and major investment needs identified under the KCD.

These reforms would focus on priority areas such as building a competitive business environment, improving city governance and municipal service delivery, and increasing access to water supply and sanitation for implementation of major KTS initiatives to transform the city KNIP to improve the safety, accessibility, and attractiveness of public spaces in Karachi, such as streets, parks, city squares and pedestrian areas. It also aims at ensuring equal access to all including women, youth and the poor. The project once completed will also make it easier for the public and investors to access services such as construction work and business registrations.

The cost of the project is $ 98 million in which the World Bank share is $ 86 million while the provincial government would share $ 12 million. The project involves Public Spaces and Mobility Improvements in selected three targeted neighborhoods. They include Saddar Downtown Area Revitalization, Malir area road and public spaces enhancement, Korangi neighborhood mobility improvements.

Saddar: Saddar has a high concentration of civic, educational, cultural and commercial uses, and a large number of daily visitors and passersby. The subprojects include upgrading of roads and streets, sidewalks, and pedestrian crossings within existing rights-of-way (ROW); upgrading existing open spaces, installing shade features, and removing barriers for visitors; reorganizing traffic patterns and closing certain street segments (temporarily or permanently); installing signs, street furniture, lighting, and bus stop shelters; organizing parking and installing safety barriers to reduce vehicular encroachment on sidewalks and enhance safety; and rehabilitating infrastructure and storm water drainage beneath roads upgraded by the project.

Education and Cultural Zone: It forms a triangle including Dr Ziauddin Road from Shaheen Complex to Pakistan Chowk, Deen Muhammad Wafai Road from Arts Council to Pakistan Chowk, and MR Kyani Road from Shaheen Complex to Fawara Chowk/Arts Council Chowk. The Shara-e- Kamal Attaturk from Sindh Secretariat gate to DJ Science College.

Following specific interventions are part of the first phase, year one of the project.

The second Level includes underground car parking facility with public space such as food centers at Shara-e-Kamal Attaturk. The underground car parking of 10000 square meter each to accommodate 400 cars and 600 bikes to be developed on international standards. This intervention will greatly alleviate the congestion caused by the haphazard street parking as it caters for existing and projected demand of parking for Sindh Secretariat, educational institutes, Museum, neighborhood and commercial areas

Shaheen Complex Inter-section/Arts Council Junction and Pakistan Chowk Junctions. These junctions are designed in a manner that ensures public safety thereby improving the traffic flow. Mid-blocks/Islands would be provided for convenience of traffic and pedestrians. The junctions are provided with guard rails at edges to prevent the pedestrians from intervening into the roads. Each crosswalk is provided with pelican crossing for additional safety for the pedestrians. The use of tactile flooring is made to facilitate the disabled.

The Development in Arts Council:

The Spaces in the Arts Council complex are designed to improve its connection within the complex. The Public Space will cater for the infrastructure needs of the complex, with introduction of landscape features, seating arrangement etc.

The cost of the project is Rs1.44 billion to carry out works in the Educational and Cultural Zone has been done in the end of February 2018. These works are planned to be completed in 10 months. In the second phase, Food & Recreational Zone, and Administrative Zone would be established in different areas of Saddar


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