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President okays Rs140b projects for Karachi
[April 21, 2009]

President okays Rs140b projects for Karachi

Apr 20, 2009 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) -- President Asif Ali Zardari has approved three mega development projects for Karachi worth more than Rs 140 billion and also approved highways and irrigation and drainage projects for interior of Sindh. Presiding over a high-level meeting on the development projects in Sindh including Karachi at Bilawal House here on Monday, the President approved Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Transit CNG Bus Project for Karachi.

The number of buses in Karachi under the project would increase to 4000 by 2012, said Sindh Information Minister Shazia Marri while briefing the media men outside Bilawal House.

The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Governor Sindh Dr. Ishrat ul Ebad Khan, Federal Communication Minister Dr. Arbab Alamgir, Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali, Deputy Chairman Planning, Secretary General to the President Salman Faruqui, Provincial Ministers Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza, Agha Siraj Durrani, Mir Nadir Magsi and Shazia Marri and Federal and provincial officials.

She further said that this would be a public transport scheme under which 500 environment-friendly CNG buses will be introduced. Only women would have the right to ownership besides 50 per cent of the seats would be reserved for women passengers, she added.

She said that the scheme would be launched by City Nazim Karachi who would oversee the implementation. Federal govt would provide an interest subsidy of Rs 7 lakh per bus. She that govt will provide sovereign guarantee for the Karachi Mass Transit which will be built under as a BOO scheme. International competitive bids will be invited soon.

This scheme would be launched immediately, she added.

Giving details about Karachi Circular Railway, Shazia Marri said that Karachi Circular Railway is being revived with a cost of Rs 1.6 billion dollars with international assistance. She said that President has desired that the scheme must be implemented as soon as possible without delay. The President also desired that a resettlement plan be immediately prepared for the rehabilitation of the people settled on the way of KCR, she added.

She said that President has approved the financing of the Lyari Expressway project, adding, that the project would be implemented immediately and Planning Commission would finance it without delay. She said the Governor and Chief Minister may undertake vertical development for the settlement of those who have been displaced due to Lyari Expressway.

About Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), she said that President Asif Ali Zardari has approved the Bus Rapid Transit System (Bagota Model), implemented by City Nazim, Karachi immediately and without delay. Three corridors initially will be developed in Karachi which included Nagan Chowrangi to Cantt Station, Saforan Goth to Numaish Chowrangi and Orangi to Board Office Chowrangi.

About Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway, she said that President stressed construction of Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway as a modern motorway in conformity with international standards. It was also decided that works on Larkana-Khairpur Bridge may be accelerated for their timely completion, she added. The meeting revived the road networks in Sindh and directed NHA for completion of works on priority basis on Sukkur-Shikarpur-Jacobabad Expressway and Ratodero-Sehwan additional carriageway.

She said that Karachi Sewerage Scheme was also approved. Shazia Marri said that the President has expressed his desire to expedite the Thar Coal project and has directed that the development projects in infrastructure sector must get the highest priority and the quality should be in conformity with international standards.

Regarding the issue of realignment of RBOD-III, she said, the President has directed that the consultants be assigned with the task of proposed change of alignment. He also directed that a meeting of Sindh and Balochistan public representatives be held to resolve outstanding issues, she said. He further directed that scheme be prepared for improvement of Phuleli canal located in Badin District, she added.

She said that President Asif Ali Zardari has reviewed progress on the Hyderabad: Mirpurkhas Dual carriageway. The meeting was informed that the project is at an advanced stage of technical evaluation and will be ready for approval shortly.

The President has stressed upon the improvement of Canal System and lining of distributaries and minors to ensure water conservation and assumed supply to tail enders and have equitable distribution of water.

Regarding the suffering of people of Badin and Thatta, the WAPDA should come up with concrete proposals to restore the issues of LBOD and tidal link on permanent basis, she said. President Asif Zardari has desired that Sindh govt should prepare extensive projects for drip and sprinkler irrigation to help poor farmers of the province.

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