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March 13, 2018

WB-assisted project launched to make Karachi more liveable


March 13, 2018

Sindh’s chief minister announced on Monday that his provincial government is making efforts to transform Karachi into a greener and more liveable and resilient metropolitan city by formulating and following the well-planned Karachi Transformation Strategy (KTS).

Syed Murad Ali Shah said the objective of the KTS is to improve the physical and socio-economic infrastructure and services delivery of water, sanitation, transportation and urban spaces, as well as strengthening and transforming institutions.

The chief executive said this while addressing the launch of the ‘Educational and Cultural Zone-Saddar area under World Bank-assisted Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project’ at the Burns Garden.

CM Murad said the World Bank had engaged itself in the KTS to support the Sindh government’s vision, and had carried out a comprehensive Karachi City Diagnostic (KCD) programme.

The KCD is an unprecedented endeavour to collect comprehensive data on the city’s economy, liveability 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 the light of the depth and scale of the city’s challenges in terms of policy reforms, institutional governance and infrastructural needs, the provincial government and the World Bank have agreed to launch a dual-track approach.

Under the first track, the World Bank is supporting a “quick wins” operation under the Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project (KNIP), focusing on “fast, low-cost and 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 KNIP to improve the safety, accessibility and attractiveness of public spaces in the city, such as streets, parks, city squares and pedestrian areas.

It also aims at ensuring equal access to all, including women. Once completed, the project would also make it easier for the public and investors to access services such as construction and business registrations.

The cost of the project is $98 million (approximately Rs10.84 billion), in which the World Bank’s contribution is $86 million (around Rs9.51 billion) and the remaining of the provincial government.

The project involves public spaces and mobility improvements in three targeted neighbourhoods: Saddar downtown area revitalisation, Malir area road and public spaces enhancement, and Korangi neighbourhood mobility improvements.

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

The KNIP project in Malir involves rehabilitation and improvement of Khokhrapar Road from Saudabad to Thado Nala. The 3km road has three lanes on both sides with service roads, where available.

The main features of the project include provision of road safety features and traffic control devices, riding quality to be improved through resurfacing of the existing carriageway where the existing carriageway only had surface defects, the reconstruction of the pavement structure in sections where the existing carriageway has remained inundated for a longer period and has undergone a complete base failure.

The features also include provision of pedestrian facilities especially designed for maximum convenience of road users, the disabled, the elderly, women and children, provision of improved facilities for public transport users, parking provision near commercial centres, mosques and educational institutions, provision of parking for private vehicles, rickshaws and taxis, provision of LED streetlights, provision of trash bins at convenient locations, improvement of existing greenbelt by installation of benches and planting of shade trees, landscaping of intersections and other available open spaces along the road to beautify the area, dualisation of the bridge over Thado Nala connecting the rural areas of Memon Goth with the urban areas of Malir and Korangi.

Other features are replacement of old water mains and choked sewer lines, rehabilitation of utility network, and construction of storm-water drains along both sides of the carriageway for effective drainage. It is a Rs733 million project and would be completed within six months.

The Korangi neighbourhood mobility improvements project is a Rs694 million project. The first phase of the KNIP in Malir involves rehabilitation and improvement of 9000 Road from Coast Guard Chowrangi to Ibrahim Hyderi. It is a 3km dual and single carriageway to be developed from Coast Guard Chowrangi to Ibrahim Hyderi.

The same cross-sections as those for Malir are designed for Korangi. It would have footpaths on both sides of roads that would be widened for the ease of pedestrians. Other features of this road include pedestrian crossings, lighting, bus shelters and safety barriers for pedestrians, and rehabilitating underground infrastructure and storm-water drains beneath upgraded roads within the existing ROW.

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