Over 100 projects worth Rs1.1 trillion had been planned under the Karachi Transformation Plan (KTP) to address the chronic municipal and infrastructure issues of the country’s financial hub. This was informed to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, and several key ministers.
Emphasizing on the timely completion of the projects, the prime minister said that a permanent solution to Karachi’s problems was imperative, saying that the damage caused by rainwater in the metropolis during monsoon every year was due to illegal constructions on the nullahs.
According to the report, the 2020 rainy season caused huge flooding in Karachi and the city’s drainage and sewerage issues came into national focus. The record-breaking monsoon rains caused widespread devastation and left dozens dead.
The prime minister chaired a high-level KTP meeting, which was attended by the federal ministers Asad Umar, Faisal Vawda, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Army Chief Gen Bajwa.
In the meeting, the prime minister directed that alternative arrangements should be made in advance for the deserving residents of Karachi before removing the encroachments. He also directed formation of a technical committee under the planning ministry to formulate recommendations for enhancing the capacity and utility of the K-4 project to supply water to the city. The meeting was informed that the projects would be completed in three phases.
Separately, Imran chaired a meeting on the Pakistan Island Development Authority (Pida) and the Ravi Urban Development Authority (Ruda), which was also attended by Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and the chairmen of both the authorities and senior government officials.
Representatives of AWTEC, a Dutch company interested in investing in the projects, proposed to build a waste energy and desalination plant in Karachi with an investment of $1.3 billion. The company also expressed keen interest in the Ravi project and the establishment of a renewable energy plant in Lahore.
An official statement said that the technology used in these projects would be developed in Pakistan, which would create technology transfer and employment opportunities in the country, adding that the steam generated from the project can also be used in industries. In this regard, it said, an MoU will be signed between the government and AWTEC soon.
Due to a lack of waste management system, Imran said, problems in Pakistan were increasing day by day. He said that Pakistan’s water resources, especially, the coastal belt were the most affected by it, adding that such projects would help provide world-class housing facilities to cities.
Meanwhile, Imran also chaired a weekly meeting of the National Coordinating Committee for Housing, Construction and Development, which was attended by Prime Minister’s Adviser Ishrat Hussain, the Sindh governor and others.
Chief secretaries and senior officials from all four provinces also attended the meeting via video link. The Housing and Works secretary informed the participants about the Pakistan Quarters housing project, which is to be built in Karachi.
Under the project, 6,000 apartments would be constructed for which consultations were under way with the Sindh government and other concerned departments. In the first phase of the project, work would start on 700 residential units at a cost of Rs4 billion over the next three months.
The official statement released after the meeting stated that the prime minister was informed that “the ministry, after approval, auctioned five private plots in Islamabad for more than Rs13 billion, which would provide an investment of Rs50 billion and provide employment to 10,000 people.”
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