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Tuesday July 23, 2024

Delays on KE, SSGC’s part in Malir Expressway project anger CM

KE and SSGC had been paid for the relocation of their infrastructure but still the work was being delayed

By Oonib Azam
May 20, 2024
Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah being briefed about the progress of the under construction Malir Expressway Korangi to Quaidabad Segment during his inspection visit, in Karachi on May 19, 2024. — PPI
Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah being briefed about the progress of the under construction Malir Expressway Korangi to Quaidabad Segment during his inspection visit, in Karachi on May 19, 2024. — PPI 

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has expressed disappointment with delays by the K-Electric (KE) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) in the relocation of their respective infrastructures along the Malir Expressway route.

He criticised the power and gas utilities on Sunday as he toured the city to inspect various projects, including the Malir Expressway.

According to a press statement issued by the Chief Minister House, Murad visited seven under-construction projects in Karachi. He reviewed their progress and addressed the bottlenecks causing delays in the completion of the Malir Expressway and Karimabad Underpass.

The project director of the expressway, Niaz Soomro, said the KE and SSGC had been paid for the relocation of their infrastructure but still the work was being delayed.

The CM directed his secretary to arrange a meeting with representatives of both agencies at the CM House as soon as possible.

He expressed his displeasure at the delays by the KE and SSGC in relocating their installations, which had been causing delay in the completion of the Malir Expressway project.

Murad also suspended the Korangi Industrial Area SHO for his failure to stop dumping of debris and garbage along the Malir Causeway road and directed the Korangi SSP to personally monitor the area where two different projects — the Malir Expressway and and Korangi Causeway Bridge — were being constructed.

The CM was accompanied by Provincial Minister for Transport Sharjeel Inam Memon, Energy Minister Syed Nasir Shah, Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani, Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab, Planning and Development Board Chairman Najam Shah, Karachi Commissioner Hassan Naqvi, Local Government Secretary Khalid Hyder Shah, Transport Secretary Asad Zamin, Project Director Mega Projects Tariq Mughal and Engineer Khalid Masroor.

About the Malir Expressway, the CM was told that the project was 38.661 kilometres long. It started from the Jam Sadiq Bridge and ended at Kathore where it met the M9 motorway. The project was started on May 12, 2022, and its completion period was 26 months.

It is a three-plus-three (six-lane) project and will have six interchanges. The project director told the CM that the progress in the Malir Expressway segment I from Korangi to Quaidabad was 70 per cent complete, while the segment II from Quaidabad to Kathore was 30 per cent complete.

Murad expressed his displeasure when he was told that the completion of the segment I had been delayed by three months due to the delay in shifting of the KW and SSGC’s infrastructure.

The project director said the KE had to shift its remaining four installations for which it had already been paid. The power utility had to shift its high-tension line (HTL) at the Jam Sadiq Bridge so that its connectivity with the Malir Expressway could be made.

The CM was also told that the gas utility had to lower its three pressure lines but it had been delaying it, therefore work on the expressway was being delayed.

It was said that there were some encroachment issues at the existing loop of the Quaidabad interchange and some land issues that needed to be resolved for the completion of the project in time.

He directed the Malir deputy commissioner to immediately remove the encroachments from the loop of the Quaidabad Interchange, and resolve the land issues and report to him. The CM also directed the SSPs of Korangi and Malir to provide foolproof security to the workers working on the Malir Expressway.

As for the new Jam Sadiq Bridge, the CM was told that the bridge was part of the Yellow Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. The project’s cost has been estimated at Rs12.531 billion.

As for the Korangi Causeway, Murad was informed that the bridge at the Korangi Causeway was being constructed for Rs6,499.551 million. The total length of the route was 2.30 kilometres, including a one km bridge structure and a 1.30 km road over an embankment.

The CM was told that work on the causeway started in July 2023 and would be completed within 24 months.

Murad also visited the under-construction Karimabad Underpass. He was told that the construction of a two-lane and two-way underpass had been launched for Rs1,350 million in District Central and it was 35 per cent complete.

It was said that there was a waterline under the project for the relocation of which arrangements were being made to speed up the work. The CM directed the Karachi Development Authority project director to expedite the work as it had caused problems in the smooth flow of traffic. Regarding the Bakhtiari Youth Centre, the CM was briefed that the project comprised a new pavilion with a dressing room along with repair and maintenance of the existing pavilion. The project also included upgradation of the cricket ground, including three cricket pitches, and a jogging track, along with the installation of stadium lights. A football ground and parking area would also be included in the club, the CM was told.

It was said that the total area of the youth centre was 15.38 acres, in which the cricket ground would be developed over an area of 7.6 acres, and the football ground over 7.779 acres. The cost of the entire project is Rs594 million.

Murad also visited the Café Piyala Road and inspected the rehabilitation of the road from the Café Piyala near Gulberg Chowrangi to Rashid Minhas Road near the UBL Sports Complex. He was told that the work was part of the Karachi Mega Project launched for Rs902.131 million.

He was told that the road from the UBL Sports Complex to the Sareena Mobile

Market on Sakhi Hasan in District Central had been completed. The project director told the CM that it was an important thoroughfare to provide easy access to the Cardiac Hospital, Imam Clinic and Mamji Hospital, and easy access to Naya Nazimabad.

The length of the road is 4.05 kilometres, which is a dual carriageway and its width is between 9.753 metres and 11 metres.

During his visit to Shahrah-e-Noor Jahan, the CM inspected the reconstruction of the main road from Abdullah College to Qalandria Chowk in District Central.

The CM was told that the 6.4km thoroughfare was being constructed at a cost of Rs3,367.735 million.

The project director told that Shahrah-e-Noorjahan was an important road that would provide easy access to a thickly populated area.

The road provides access to the Inter Board Office, Katti Pahari, Qasba Colony, Manghopir, Five Star Chowrangi, Sakhi Hassan Chowrangi, Nagan Chowrangi, Naya Nazimabad and North Karachi.