KARACHI : (Aftab Channa) Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that he has short and long terms plans to transform Karachi to a beautiful city by developing its roads, restoring old buildings, developing its parks and evolving a proper traffic management system. “This is why I am going to launch the world Bank-funded Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project (KNIP)-which is bound to give this city a new look and a new face- the face of development, the face of peace and prosperity.”
This he said while presiding over a meeting on World Bank-assisted Karachi neighbourhood Improvement Project (KNIP) here at the CM House. The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Jam Khan Shoro, Syed Nasir Shah, Syed Sardar Shah, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, Secretary Transport Saeed Awan, Adl IG Traffic Mushtaq Maher, Secretary Local government Ramzan Awan, PD KNIP Khair Mohammad Kalwar and others.
The chief minister said that the World bank on the request of the Sindh government carried out Karachi City Diagnostic (KCD) to support provincial government for implementation of Karachi Transform Strategy (KTS) through short term and long-term engagements. He added that KCD estimated that at least $10 billion would be required in the next 10 years to close the city’s infrastructure’s gaps.
Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem said that in short term the World Bank has agreed to support KNIP focusing on fast, low cost and high impact interventions to respond to the emergent city needs. He added that KNIP serves as a strategic entry point for reengagement by the World Bank and a building block for long term partnership with Sindh government to transform the city. “At present KNIP stands approved from the ECNEC & Loan Agreement has already been signed by WB and the government.,” he said.
PD KNIP Khair Mohammad Kalwar giving presentation to the chief minister said that the project cost of KNIP is $98 million while the Sindh government’s share $12 million. It is aimed at enhancing public space in targeted neighbourhoods, improvement of urban roads infrastructure to enhance mobility, inclusion and access to market and improvement of the city’s capacity to provide selected administrative services.
Talking about component-I of the selected interventions-Public Space & Mobility Improvements, the PD said it includes Saddar downtown area revitalization; Malir area road public spaces enhancement and Korangi neighbourhood mobility improvements.
Saddar Downtown area includes Pakistan Chowk and adjoining areas where old buildings declared as heritage would be restored. The roads would also be reconstructed with new water and sewerage line and duck for other cables.
It was decided that different roads in the area would be made on-way for traffic so that footpaths and open-green sitting places with beautiful benches for students, visitors and people living in the vicinity could be constructed.
The area from DJ College up Karachi arts Council would also be developed on the same pattern with one-way traffic route, construction/arrangement of parking lots, development of parks, open spaces for visitors with benches, Victorian street lights, open-space coffee shops, book stores etc would be made.
The meeting decided that parking along the roads would strictly be prohibited. The entire area would be covered through CCTV cameras. There was proposal to develop a separate lane for cyclists to promote cycle culture to reduce air pollution.
The chief minister directed Adl IG Karachi Mushtaq Maher to work together with PD KNIP for making one-way traffic plans. There is dire need of managing growing traffic in the city in general and in Saddar area in particular. ‘This is most important project in terms of restoration of old city area, therefore, it must be supported not only by the concerned agencies and government departments but I would request to each and every Karachiite to support and own it,” he said.
Syed Murad Ali shah said that the compound walls of some important beautiful buildings be removed by developing a small fencing type compound so that their beautify could be enjoyed by every passerby.
He also directed the Commissioner Karachi to start removing encroachment from entire area of the project, phase-I [saddar downtown] so that it could be started within a month. He also directed PD KNIP to start inviting tenders for reconstruction work within two weeks.
The Component-II and III include design and implementation of a Sindh Provincial Electronic On-Stop Shop (PEOSS) for business licenses and e-licensing by other provincial agencies to be hosted by Sindh Board of Investment; Automation of construction permits by Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA). Under the Better city management, there would be integrated financial mangment system for KMC, support KMC in improving its municipal utility tax revenues by financing a survey in South and Central Districts to assess the potential tax base, design and development of web-based platform for KMC, parking management study are also part of it.