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December 8, 2018

CPEC meeting: CM to take KCR, other Sindh projects for approval to Beijing

National

December 8, 2018

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that he would take some important projects of KCR, Keti Bandar, Dhabeji Economic Zone, river lining, mega desalination plant for Karachi to CPEC related Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting to be held in Beijing by the end of December 2018.

The CM said this on Friday while presiding over a preparatory meeting for the JJC meeting to be held in Beijing. The meeting was attended by Minister for Agriculture Ismail Rahu, Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh, Minister Transport Awais Shah, Chairman Sindh Planning & Development Board Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput and concerned secretaries and Azeem Uqaili of Sindh Board of Investment.

The chief minister said that the three projects approved in the 6th JCC meeting held on 29 December 2016, would be taken up again. Most of their required formalities have been completed. “Karachi Circular Railways (KCR) is the most important project which I want to give my citizens as a gift,” he said and added this $1.97 billion 43.24-km KCR project would not only resolve traffic issues of the city but it would also lift the overall image of the city in terms of urban transport facilities.

The KCR would start from Wazir Mansion and covering the areas of Tower, Karachi City, DOCs, Karachi Cantt, Naval establishments, Chanesar Goth, Shaheed-e-Millat, Drigh Road, Drigh Colony, Star Gate, Jinnah Terminal, Johar, Alladin Park, Nipa, Gilani, Yaseenabad, Liaquatabad, Nazimabad, Orangabad, KBL, Manghopir, SITE, Shah Latif Baldia, Lyari and terminate back at Wazir Mansion.

Talking about the Dhabeji Special Economic Zone project, the CM said that it was being established on 1,530 acres area. The zone is located at the most important location connected with the National Highway and near the Motorway. This project would cost around Rs43 billion.

Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem told the chief minister that paperwork of Keti Bander was being done. It would be a jetty in the first phase to be used for coal export and in the second phase, it would be upgraded as a full-fledged seaport. It has wide road connectivity as the port would have approaching roads towards the National Highway and Motorway.

Shah said that he had also worked out some other projects, which include agriculture project, environment project, mega desalination project for Karachi and “we may request for river lining from Guddu to Sukkur.”

The chief minister said that China had made tremendous progress in the agriculture sector. “We want to take benefit from their research and practical work,” he said and added the agriculture project would include changing of cropping pattern, the introduction of low delta and high yield crops and mechanization of entire agriculture system.

Talking about the environment project, Shah said that he would make the entire province Green Sindh under which millions of trees would be planted and looked after. “I’ll start tree plantation right from Thar to Keenjhar and from Karachi to Kashmore,” he said and added that this would be done scientifically. He added that people were talking about climate change but practically “We would take tangible measures to improve the overall environment under the guidance of Paris agreement”.

He said that he had worked out a plan under which river lining right from Guddu Barrage to Sukkur Barrage would be made. “I have started consultations with water experts and all the consultations would be finalised within the next 15 days so that this project, if feasible, could be tabled in the JJC meeting.”

Murad Ali Shah said that the lining of a river belt from Guddu to Sukkur would not only be helpful in the conservation of water but it would mitigate the effects of waterlogging on the right and left banks of the river where thousands of acres of land was submerged. “This would also save the katcha area from flooding,” he concluded.

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