Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that in the newly unveiled Rs1.1 trillion Karachi development package, most of the projects are ongoing and funded by the provincial government, as his government is committed to developing the infrastructure, drainage, and the sewerage and mass transit systems of the city on a priority basis.
This he said while talking to media persons after inaugurating Manora Beach Road on Saturday.
He was accompanied by provincial ministers Shabir Bijarani and Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and law adviser Murtaza Wahab.
Commander Karachi Vice Admiral Zahid Ilyas, Commander Naval Police Commodore Rizwan Ahmed, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Karachi Commissioner Sohail Rajput, DG KDA Asif Ikram, MNAs Abdul Qadir Patel and Shahida Rehmani, MPA Liaquat Askani and others were also present on the occasion.
Replying to a question, he said, the Karachi package was not a new thing. “Most of the schemes are already ongoing, including those of which Sindh and federal governments have been sharing the cost such as K-IV, which is being transferred to the Centre for its completion,” he said.
To another question, the CM said he was surprised to know that the federal government was holding his government responsible for power and gas outages in Karachi.
“The federal government is controlling power and gas- generating and distributing companies, and they are responsible to provide uninterrupted power and gas supplies,” he said and added that just to hide their inefficiency, the federal government was blaming the provincial government, which was quite surprising for him.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the six-kilometre-long Manora Beach Road, the CM said that it had been constructed from Kakapir to the Y-junction for Rs456.64 million.
“I am proud to say that it is the first scheme of the newly created district of Keamari being launched today,” he said and declared Keamari as a model district in Karachi division.
Shah also announced the construction of a road from Gulbai to HawksBay and vowed to resolve the issues of water, sanitation and infrastructure of the new district.
Talking about the Manora Road scheme, he said that the project was a part of an overall scheme for the improvement of waterfront development to be made available for the public of Karachi. “At present, the Manora beach is underutilised, there is very low volume of visitors due to paucity of facilities like sitting spaces, dining areas, rest rooms, shades and tidiness,” he said and added that the objective was to develop basic facilities to draw public attention towards the Manora beach as it would eventually increase the number of visitors to the coastal area.
Shah said the main attraction of Karachi is its beaches and coastline, which distinguishes Karachi from the rest of the country. “Due to dearth of entertainment avenues, especially for middle and lower middle classes, people have been rushing to Clifton, Sea View, Hawkesbay and Sandspit beaches since long,” he said and added that there was a dire need for some new development works to provide an area for public recreation, and the Manora Beach was a new addition to this list.
The chief minister pointed out that the waterfront development under the Monra Beach project, apart from the construction of the road, had different components. They included the uplift of Manora Beach Segment-1 under which 15,200 square feet were being developed with pigmented concrete pavers, and a design feature wall was being raised with static and digital display, light bollards and hard and soft landscape.
Segment-2 is a parking area. It would be 6,000 metres’ long and is being developed with pigmented cement concrete pavers and a fair boundary wall. Segment-3 is a sea front development under which an area of 8.75 acres is being developed with an entrance gate. It would have pigmented cement concrete paved walkways, sitting steps, waterfront gazebos, orchid design, composite sitting benches with plants, a kids play zone, kiosks/shops and restrooms.
DG KDA Asif Ikram, briefing the chief minister about progress of work, said that out of an area of 8.75 acres of the development project, 1,800 into 134 meters located on the seafront was being developed first before the high tide season that started on March 31. He added that the RCC seafront structure had been completed and beautification works were in progress.
Chief Minister Shah visited an RO (Desalination) Plant on Manora Island being established by the Sindh government for Rs427.6 million.
He said the scheme envisaged for the installation of Reverse Osmosis (water Desalination) Plant of 500,000 gallons per day on Manora Island, specifically designed to convert seawater into purified water maintaining the TDS value not more than 500 mg per liter to meet the WHO standards of safe drinking water.
He added that the RO plant would meet the water requirement of 20,000 inhabitants living in the localities.
The chief minister inspected the ongoing work and directed the local government minister, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, to complete the schemes during the current financial year.
Addressing the gathering, Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that the provincial government had embarked upon developing the beaches of Karachi to provide beautiful and peaceful recreational spots to the people of the city.
Commander Karachi Vice Admiral Zahid Ilyas, on behalf of Pakistan Navy, hosted the inauguration ceremony at Manora. The chief minister lauded the efforts of the Pakistan Navy in the development of Karachi.