close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
January 17, 2021

Corona vaccine due by March: Asad

Top Story

January 17, 2021

KARACHI: Responding to the criticism that Pakistan still had not placed an order for the coronavirus vaccine, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar Saturday said the vaccine would be made available by March.

He said this while addressing a joint press conference with Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Federal Information Technology Minister Amin-ul-Haque and other ministers here. "We have not lied to the nation about vaccine procurement," Asad said, adding that it (the vaccine) would reach Pakistan by March.

Answering a question, he said as for the Sindh government’s complaint about shortfall in the NFC’s share, the provincial government and the Centre had their own arguments in this regard.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said with coordinated efforts, the provincial and federal governments had started different projects in Karachi, including remodeling of the main storm water drains, water, drainage, road, and transport sectors in Karachi.

“In the larger interest of Karachi, setting aside all our political differences, all the stakeholders, including the PPP, PTI and MQM, have chalked out plans to develop Karachi into one of the beautiful and liveable cities of the world,” Murad said.

He said they had planned to de-silt all the drains in the city before the upcoming monsoon.

He said Karachi’s drains were being remodeled, including Lyari and Malir rivers network and the three major drains namely Mahmoodabad, Gujjar and Orangi and their feeder drains.

He said the federal and provincial government had committed to jointly undertaking K-IV, sewage treatment, road network, Malir Expressway, Green Line, Yellow Line, Orange Line and KCR and to complete them in time on a priority basis.

Murad thanked the federal government, the KMC, the army, the NDMA, the FWO and the Supreme Court for pushing and guiding all the stakeholders to expedite the development works.

Talking about Mahmoodabad Nullah, the CM said it had been undertaken as a pilot project. He said the NED University of Engineering & Technology had studied all the three major drains of the city and prepared remodeling plans.

The CM said a 12-foot wide road along with footpaths would be constructed on both sides of Mahmoodabad drain.

“We tried to save maximum number of houses constructed along the embankments,” he said, adding that out of 238 household/encroachments, 205 were demolished while the remaining 33 houses would be cleared within a week.

The chief minister said 10 different drains discharge effluents into the 51 square km drainage area of Gujjar Drainage network. Shah said the width of Gujjar Nullah started from 120 feet and narrowed down to 35 feet, hence it would be remodeled and lined according to the requirement.

“But, we would try our best to dismantle minimum number of houses,” he said.

Asad Umar said that the residents of Karachi looked towards their elected representatives.

“I want to reiterate that we have various other avenues and issues for politics but as far as the uplift of the city is concerned we have to work together,“ he said, adding that the NDMA had engaged the FWO which had mobilised its machinery and started de-silting the drains.

Asad said, “It is a good start and the remodeling will conclude before July and August when Karachi receives maximum rains.”

Federal Minister Aminul Haq said, “It is good that work had started though the Rs1.1 trillion development package for Karachi was not enough but `something is better than nothing.’

To a question, Asad said KP, Balochistan and Sindh also had reservations about the census but it [census] was not done by the PTI’s government.

Talking about twin islands of Karachi, Asad Umar said it was a debatable matter.

“The PIDA Ordinance has expired and we want the provincial government and the federal governments to sit together to find a mutual way to start development.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Provincial Coordination and Implementation Committee (PCIC), having representation of both federal and Sindh governments, was held at the Chief Minister House.

The PCIC is supervising the development works in Karachi undertaken after six decades. A handout said some of the mega development projects under the PICIC supervision included a system to dispose solid waste, bulk water supply system, bus rapid transit service, sewage and drainage systems, and the Karachi Circular Railway.

It said a network of roads, a proper transport system and circular railway project would ensure progress of the city.