Malir Expressway project gets nod

KARACHI: To ease chronic traffic congestion in the port city, the Sindh government has approved the Malir Expressway project under public-private partnership mode.

The decision was made by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presiding over 24rth meeting of Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy Board here at CM House Friday.

Shah s said that as Karachi is an important city in terms of its industrial areas, ports and population; therefore, it needs more expressway, arteries and link roads.

He said rapid population growth and increase in vehicular traffic has resulted in congestion and traffic jam issues on major roads of the city, resulting in wastage of commuters’ time and fuel, besides increasing pollution and accidents.

He said that keeping these problems in view, the Sindh government has decided to develop Malir Expressway, which would be the shortest alternate route to connect the Motorway with the city.

It would be a four-lane dual carriage expressway along the Malir River. It would start from the Hino Chowk in Korangi and end at the Superhighway (M-9) near Kathore. The length of the expressway would be 38 kilometers.

On the occasion Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro said that the Malir Expressway would be launched under PPP mode, based on design, built, operate, maintain and transfer basis.

Murad said that the expressway would serve as a Southern alternative route for road connecting the port and industrial areas to maintain highways.

The board approved the project and directed PPP unit to start the process for inviting `expression of interest’ in the project.

Another project which came under discussion in the meeting was the Karachi Theme and Safari Park project.

The chief minister was told that the KMC has received an unsolicited proposal for the development of Karachi Theme and Safari Park at the existing facility of Safari Park. The project would be started on BOT basis.

The meeting was informed that a state-of-art theme park includes a rides area with 25 rides and other attractions, family entertainment center with a food court and additional family rides, including trampoline, kids’ area and 3D rides etc. There would also be a business center with souvenir and other shops.

The Safari park would have a pet farm auditorium in which families can enter and spend quality time and much needed exposure for kids with family non-dangerous animals.

There would also be a splash zone, the spectacular safari ride and additional 78 animals would be procured and adequately placed along with the exiting animals in an un-caged environment.

The visitors of the Safari park would get a life time experience of safari ride in which they can observe the animals in their natural habitat.

The policy board decided to send the project to the Local Government for technical committee’s evaluation.

Jam Khan Shoro presented the Rani Bagh, Hyderabad project before the policy board.

He said that his department has conceived the project for restructuring, upgrading and redesigning of Rani Bagh Hyderabad by turning it into a modern recreational facility which would beautify the city landscape and provide its residents with cleaner environment and contemporary entertainment place.

Shoro said that the existing zoo spreads over an area of 5-7 acres. Various animals and bird species are available there. He added that the zoo is not being maintained as per SOP.

The minister said that the condition of the Zoo and other facilities do not make it a preferred tourist spot. The department has a plan to redesign and restructure the facility by introducing gardens, promenades, zoo, recreational areas, open theater cinema, food outlets and play area for children on PPP mode.

The chief minister directed the local government department to send the project to the technical committee of the PPP Unit for assessment and then in the next meeting the matter may be brought in the policy board for discussion.