KARACHI:Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Saturday that with the coordinated efforts, the provincial and the federal governments had started different projects in the city, including remodeling of main storm water drains, water, drainage, roads and transport sectors.
“In the larger interest of Karachi, setting aside all our political differences, we, all the stakeholders [the PTI and the MQM] sit together and chalk out plans to develop the city to make it one of the beautiful and livable cities of the world,” he said while addressing a joint press conference with federal ministers, Asad Umar and Aminul Haq. Provincial ministers, Saeed Ghani, Nasir Shah and Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab were also present.
Shah said that they had planned to cleanse the drains before next monsoon. He added that the drains were being remodeled, including the network of Lyari and Malir Rivers and three major drains of Mahmoodabad, Gujjar and Orangi, and their feeders would also be overhauled.
The CM said that for the other projects, the federal and provincial governments had committed to undertake K-IV, sewerage treatment, road network, Malir Expressway, Green Line, yellow Line, Orange Line and KCR. “Since there were three executing agencies, the Sindh government, the federal and the KMC, therefore, we all have joined hands so that these projects can be completed on priority basis and in time,” he said.
Shah thanked the federal government, the KMC, the army authorities, NDMA and FWO and also thanked the Supreme Court for pushing and guiding all the stakeholders to expedite the development works.
Talking about Mahmoodabad drain, the chief minister said that it had been undertaken as a pilot project. He added that the NED University had studied all the three major drains and prepared their remodel plan.
The CM said that on the both sides of the Mahmoodabad drain, a 12-feet wide road would be constructed along with a three-foot footpaths. “We have worked hard to save maximum houses constructed along the embankments of the drain,” he said and added that out of 238 household/encroachments, 205 had been demolished and the remaining 33 houses would be cleared within a week. He appreciated the public support and even the cooperation of the affected people in removing the encroachments.
The chief minister, talking about Gujjar drain, said that it had a 51 square km drainage area and 10 different drain discharges into it. The NED University has conducted its hydrographic survey under which Mahmoodabad drain would be dragged to make its flow in natural gravity.
Shah said that the width of Gujjar drain starts from 120 feet and ends at 35 feet; therefore, it would be remodeled and lined as per its requirement. “But, we would try our best to affect/dismantle minimum houses,” he said.
Federal Minister Asad Umar speaking on the occasion said that the people of Karachi looked towards their elected representatives. “Therefore, brushing aside our political differences, we have joined hands for the development of this city,” he said and added the NDMA had engaged FWO and they had mobilized their machinery and work had been started.
Umar said that the success story of their coordinated efforts was the start of work on the ground. “It is a good start and time is very short because in July 17 and August Karachi receives rains, therefore, we have to complete the remodeling work of drains because by the start of July.
He said that work on the ground had been started and now the minor impediments such as approval of the more funds and approval of the related schemes were being made. “I want to reiterate that we have various other things for doing politics but as far as uplift of the city is concerned we have to work together which is important for all the concerned political parties.
Federal Minister Aminul Haq told the media that the development works being started in the city were worth Rs1.1 trillion. “It is a good thing that the works had been started on the ground,” he said.
Haq said that the amount of Rs1.1 trillion for the development package of Karachi was not enough but something is better than nothing. He called for strengthening the local bodies and said actually, it was the job of local governments to clean the drains, provide water supply schemes and construct connecting roads. “Since, the works remained in pending, therefore, the federal and the provincial governments had started putting their share,” he said.
Replying to a question, Federal Minister Asad Umar said that anti-coronavirus vaccine would be made available in the country by March. As far as the complaint of Sindh government about the shortfall in NFC share is concerned, the provincial government had its own arguments and the federal government speaks something else.
To a question, the chief minister said that the model of Mahmoodabad drain in terms of its structure, removal of encroachments and development of drainage system would be replicated in the development of Gujjar drain.
The chief minister, replying to another question, said that his government has reservations on the census which he has taken up on the concerned forum- the CCI. ‘We want the federal government to redress the grievances of the people of the province,” he said.
To the same question, Asad Umar said that the KPK, Balochistan and Sindh have reservations- reservations on the census but it [census] was not done by the PTI government. “I remember very well that whenever a census is conducted the provincial governments, one or the other has raised objections,” he said.
Talking about twin islands of Karachi, Asad Umar said that the provincial government and government of Sindh have different opinions on the issue and it was a debatable. “The Ordinance has expired and we want the provincial government and the federal government to sit together to find a mutual way out to start development.
Asad Umar vowed that the KCR project would be started very soon and it would be completed much before the ML-1 project. He would complete the Green Line project for which procurement of buses have been ordered. The Maripur-Manghopir road would be also completed shortly and we have purchase and Fire tenders for the city.
Replying to a question about three hospitals, JPMC, NICVD and NICH, Umar said that their possession had been taken by the federal government through a notification as per Supreme Court orders.
He said that there was a way out under which these hospitals could be returned to the Sindh government by filing a reference in the Supreme Court, he hinted.