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September 6, 2020

PM Imran Khan lays out Rs1.1tr Karachi package

Top Story

September 6, 2020

PM Imran Khan lays out Rs1.1tr Karachi package

KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday unveiled Rs1,100 billion development package for Karachi to resolve its immediate problems arising from the recent catastrophic rains and its decades-old civic issues at the same time.

Both the federal, Sindh governments will contribute to the Rs1.1 trillion development package. The prime minister announced this while talking to reporters at the Sindh Governor House after his arrival in the city for the first time after heavy rains devastated a large portion of the city. He was flanked by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Governor Imran Ismail, and Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar. PTI’s Karachi-based lawmakers were also present.

The premier also met the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) delegations. MQM and GDA are the federal government allies. The premier also met the city’s businesspersons and industrialists. These meetings discussed the civic, political, and administrative issues of Karachi and the rest of the province. The prime minister also chaired a top-level meeting on issues of Karachi.

PM Imran Khan lays out Rs1.1tr Karachi package

Briefing the media, Imran said such a strategy was being worked out that would help resolve the rain-related problems of the city and its decades-old civic issues at the same time. He said unprecedented rains in Karachi and elsewhere in the country had emerged as a major test for the government after the coronavirus emergency. He said a Provincial Coordination and Implementation Committee (PCIC) had been constituted to combine at one platform all the stakeholders, including the federal and Sindh governments, for the development and progress of the city. Imran said with the presence of a supervisory body like the PCIC combining all the stakeholders, there would be no major hindrance in implementing the plan to develop Karachi and resolve its major civic issues.

He said Karachi's development had been hampered in the past in the absence of a unified strategy, as various land-owning agencies existed in the city, including the federal entities like the Pakistan Railways, which owned land in the provincial capital. He said the PCIC would now ensure that the federal and Sindh government would be able to work for the development of Karachi without any issue of jurisdiction or land control.

He said the Sindh government would also contribute to Rs1,100 billion development package. He said issues of solid waste disposal, mass transit, bulk water supply, drainage, sewerage, and dilapidated road networks would be resolved in a maximum of three years under the development package. He said the civic issues of Karachi would be resolved under a short-term, medium-term, and a long-term plan.

He said the Karachi Circular Railway Project and Bus Rapid Transit Systems would be developed under this package, as for the purpose the federal and Sindh government would work under a joint strategy. He acknowledged the role of the army during the recent rain emergency in extending relief to the people in distress. He said the army had the capability and strength to do rescue and relief work like natural calamities like floods. He said the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) would continue with its operation to de-silt stormwater drains in the city, while the Sindh government would resettle the people whose houses had encroached upon the lands of drains. The prime minister said the NDMA had been working to clear the drains since the rain emergency began. “I do acknowledge that the people of Karachi have come through a very difficult time due to heavy rains. God willing, we will resolve their pending problems,” he said.

Imran said Pakistan had quite easily come through the corona pandemic situation on the basis of a coordinated effort. “We will ensure a similar coordinated effort for resolving the problems of Karachi,” he said. “Look at the situation in our neighbouring India where deaths due to coronavirus have been on the rise while their economy has crashed,” he said.

He said a similar development package would also be unveiled for the rest of Sindh where heavy rains had caused massive destruction. He said the chief minister had briefed him about the damages in cities and towns in the rest of Sindh due to heavy rains.

Earlier on Saturday, the prime minister chaired a high-level meeting on the Karachi situation and assured the provincial government of the federal government’s all possible help in compensating the losses caused by the unprecedented rainfall and flooding. Governor Imran Ismail, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Federal Ministers Senator Shibli Faraz, Asad Umar, Syed Ali Zaidi and Aminul Haq, Corps Commander Lt Gen Humayun Aziz, Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, provincial ministers Syed Ghani and Nasir Shah, and senior officials attended the meeting.

The prime minister was briefed in detail about the Karachi Transformation Plan. Imran said Karachi was an important city of Pakistan and its economic hub and its issues could be resolved through mutual coordination. Expressing satisfaction, he said today all the stakeholders, including the federal government, the Sindh Government and army, were there to resolve the issues facing the people of Karachi.