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July 22, 2019

Sindh has not shelved Blue Line, says CM


July 22, 2019

The Sindh government has not shelved the Blue Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and it is searching for options to launch it.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said this while talking to the media during his surprise visit to various areas of the city on Sunday. He was accompanied by Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani and his adviser on Information Murtaza Wahab.

When asked if the Sindh government had shelved the Blue Line BRT project, the CM replied that the project had not been abandoned and only a private party involved in it had withdrawn. He explained that his government was searching for other parties with which it could launch the BRT.

Regarding two other proposed BRT projects for Karachi – the Yellow Line and the Red Line – the CM said they were being launched with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB). Both the projects had been approved by the ADB and the WB, he explained, adding that now they had been sent to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) for final approval.

“I have requested the federal finance minister to approve these both projects in Ecnec so that we can start work on them,” he said, adding that the federal finance minister had assured him that those projects would be approved in the next Ecnec meeting.

The CM maintained that he had been carrying out development works in Karachi without taking political factors into consideration.

“We do not care for whom the residents of the area, where uplift works are in progress, had voted but what we care for is their problems and their rights,” he said, adding that it is peoples’ right to have good infrastructure in their localities.

The CM said he was committed to giving the people of Karachi the best infrastructure to improve their lifestyle. He lamented that his government could not complete many development schemes during the last financial year due to a shortfall of Rs95 billion in the federal transfers.

Ghotki by-election

To a question regarding the by-election in Ghotki, Shah said the district administration in Ghotki was capable enough to provide security during the election process but ultimately it was at the discretion of the Election Commission of Pakistan to decide which forces should provide security during the polling day.

The CM claimed that NA-205 Ghotki had traditionally been the seat of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the PPP had also won provincial assembly seats under that NA seat. “Our provincial assembly member remained ineffective, otherwise, the PPP would have returned from NA-205 during the 2018 general elections,” he said.

Brushing aside the impression that the PPP had been using the government machinery to secure the victory of its candidate, the CM said the opponents were foreseeing their defeat, due to which they were levelling baseless allegations.

He added that the rival parties initially said that the PPP had no candidate to field for the by-election for NA-205 and when the PPP fielded a genuine and most popular candidate, the opponents started to level baseless allegations pertaining to the use of government machinery.

“The PPP candidate has launched a vigorous and door-to-door campaign and I am sure he would return with a vast majority of votes,” he said.

Seven new schemes

The CM paid surprise visits to the Garden area, Shaheed-e-Millat Road, residential and industrial areas of Korangi, Hawke’s Bay Road and other locations to inspect the ongoing and newly launched development schemes there.

The CM and his cabinet members had breakfast at Boating Basin where they enjoyed Halwa Puri, potato curry and Doodh Patti. He also took selfies with people who were having breakfast there.

The CM told the media that he had launched seven new schemes in the city at an estimated cost of Rs1.714 billion. The schemes included the rehabilitation of II Chundrigar Road for Rs248.34 million, rehabilitation of Ibne Sina Road from Liaquatabad No 10 to Shershah for Rs260 million, beautification and rehabilitation of University Road for Rs190 million, beautification of MT Khan Road for Rs176 million, beautification of Shahrah-e-Pakistan from Sohrab Goth to Gurumandir for Rs180 million, beautification of Rashid Minhas Road from Nagan Chowrangi to Sharea Faisal for Rs160 million and construction of a 200-foot wide road connecting Manghopir Road with Shahrah-e-Qaddafi Orangi-Surjani Link Road.

Ongoing schemes

The CM said work on 17 development schemes was in progress and the projects were expected to be completed between September and December this year.

The ongoing schemes include the construction of an underpass at the Submarine Chowrangi for Rs2.2 billion on which 95 per cent work has been completed.

Another scheme in progress is that of the replacement of the existing water pipeline with a bigger pipeline along with enhancing of pumping machinery at the Metroville pumping station. Work on laying a water line from Hazar Chowk to Al-Wajid Town has been completed by 99 per cent.

A scheme for the rehabilitation of the Karachi Zoo, which was launched for Rs391.93 million, has been completed up to 55 per cent.

The construction of a road from Tank Chowrangi to the Super Highway via Thadho Nala, which had been estimated at Rs574.18 million, has been 99 per cent completed.

Regarding the rehabilitation of Shaheed-e-Millat Road, the CM said work on the flyover at the Tipu Sultan Road intersection had been completed for Rs66.218 million while work on the underpass at the Tariq Road intersection, estimated at Rs314.49 million, had been eight per cent completed. Work on the underpass at the Hyder Ali intersection, estimated at Rs273.78 million, had been 70 per cent achieved.

The Rs693.50 million scheme of the reconstruction of Stadium Road has been completed by 80 percent. The construction of a U-turn at Natha Khan Bridge, which was recently launched at an estimated cost of Rs214.46 million, has been accomplished five per cent so far.

Various other development works in progress include the construction of roads in the Lea Market area, remodeling of 12000 Road, widening of a bridge over the Orangi Nullah and others.

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