Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari laid the foundation stone of the Malir Expressway project on Thursday. Image Credit: Supplied

Karachi: Chairman of Pakistan Peoples’ Party Bilawal Bhutto on Thursday performed the groundbreaking of Malir Expressway project as being the biggest civic infrastructure project ever done by any provincial government in Pakistan under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

The Malir Expressway will be built as an access-controlled 38.5 kilometres-long high speed toll expressway to connect city centre in Karachi to M-9 Motorway between Karachi and Hyderabad.

The six-lane highway project having cost of Rs 27.58 billion will be completed in 30 months’ time. The project will have six interchanges.

Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah recalled that around 10 years back the then president Asif Ali Zardari had advised the provincial government to involve private sector in doing mega development project as merely government funding was not enough for the purpose.

He said that the first project undertaken by his government under the PPP mode was Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas Dual Carriageway with a cost of Rs 07 billion as the loan obtained to develop the project had already been paid back.

He said the new project would resolve to a great extent the issue of load of heavy traffic on the roads of Karachi.

He said that out of total over Rs 27 billion cost of the project, only Rs 04 billion would be spent by the Sindh government while the rest would be arranged through the PPP mode of investment.

He said the Sindh government was also working on the project to treat sewage so to clean waste water of Karachi before its discharge into the Arabian Sea.

Development projects

Speaking on the occasion, the Peoples’ Party Chairman recalled that late former prime inister Benazir Bhutto in the election manifesto of the party in 1993 had envisioned for the very first time the concept of PPP mode for doing development projects.

He mentioned that the Sindh government had already completed the Thar coal mining project under the PPP mode that had enabled the impoverished Thari women to become engineers and work as dump truck driver at the site of coal mining.

He said the Malir Expressway project would benefit alike the common man, labourers, traders, and businessmen of Karachi.

He said the provincial government by carrying out the development projects under the PPP mode was in a better position to generate employment opportunities for the masses and also play a meaningful role in the economic advancement of the country.

Bilawal said the PPP mode was also being applied for providing better education and health services in the province.

He said the PPP mode of development was also the preferential way to carry out development works when the provinces in the country didn’t get their due fiscal share from the federal government and had to face financial shortfall over the last few successive years.

He said the PPP mode was the best way to unlock the developmental potential of Sindh for providing maximum relief to the masses.