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September 5, 2020

PM Imran Khan to visit Karachi today

Top Story

September 5, 2020

PM Imran Khan to visit Karachi today

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will unveil a massive development plan for Karachi worth Rs802 billion during his visit to the city on Saturday (today), according to papers seen by the Geo News.

The Karachi Transformation Plan (KTP) has been prepared on the directives of the prime minister to address the city’s major problems, including sewerage, transport and provision of clean drinking water to the masses.

Recent torrential rains wreaked havoc in the city, claiming dozens of lives and exposing the dilapidated infrastructure of the city. According to the documents, the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) — worth Rs300 billion — has been included as one of the projects under the Rs802 billion KTP’s mass transit systems. China would provide Rs250 billion, the Government of Sindh would add Rs50 billion to the project.

Six mass transit system projects worth Rs447.43 billion would be announced under the KTP. Among the development projects are eight sewerage projects, four solid waste management projects, two water drainage projects, and various road construction and repair projects costing Rs162.60 billion, Rs14.86 billion, Rs4.70 billion, and Rs62.30 billion, respectively.

Rs723.25 billion more are needed for the completion of the transformation plan while Rs32 billion have already been allocated to the development projects in the current year’s budget while Rs47.18 billion have been spent so far.

Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed the hope that the Centre will join hands with the Sindh government to help out the people who had suffered from recent spell of torrential rains in Sindh.

Addressing a news conference on Friday, the PPP chairman expressed the hope that Prime Minister Imran Khan will announce a comprehensive reconstruction and rehabilitation package for Karachi and Sindh when he arrives in the city on Saturday.

He said that after the coronavirus and locust attacks, the recent spell of torrential rains had made life difficult for the poor. The PPP chairman appreciated the Sindh CM and the provincial government for working hard and providing relief to the people in areas such as DHA where he did not have "a legal and administrative role."

"I know about the hopes and expectations of the people, we will try and work hard to match them," he said. Bilawal said if the Centre matched the Rs800 billion package for Karachi, it would solve the problems of the metropolis "to a great extent". He appreciated the federal government for showing seriousness as regards to investing in Karachi for its infrastructure and development.

Bilawal said that it was the right of Sindh to get its share of funds from the Centre. "Those who taunt us by saying that we will not give Sindh its due share of funds, they should understand that this is not their father's money," he said. "These are funds that belong to the people of Sindh. They use money from the people of Sindh to run their government and the Centre."

He urged federal ministers to desist from such taunts, advising the Centre to help people from every province and city regardless of who was the chief minister there. "You have to support people from every province," he said.

The PPP chairman slammed PM Imran, accusing him of abolishing local bodies system in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that there was also no local government system in Balochistan.

"It is only the PPP that has [this level of] tolerance that it handed over its capital city to its political opponent by saying that it’s your mandate [to run the city] as the people of this city elected you and we want to work with you," he said.

Answering a question about who will be the new Karachi administrator, Bilawal said that it was up to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to pick whomever he wished. "I will be seeking results from Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah," he said. "It is CM Murad and his government’s job to appoint a good individual from whom he can extract results," he added. In response to a question about former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the PPP chairman said that he expected him to return after his medical treatment is completed.