Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced a historic development package for Karachi to address its chronic problems. Image Credit: IANS

Karachi: Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced a historic Rs 1,100 billion development package for Karachi as the federal and Sindh governments will join hands to resolve some of the long-pending civic and municipal problems of Pakistan’s financial capital.

Khan came to Karachi today for the first time after torrential monsoon downpour last month devastated a large part of the city and further deteriorated its weak waste disposal, sewerage, and drainage systems.

SEE ALSO

Low-lying shanty towns in suburbs and posh neighbourhoods near the seaside of Karachi equally faced destruction.

Khan unveiled the massive development package to transform Karachi while talking to media at Sindh Governor House. He was flanked by Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.

Severe problems

Khan said that a strategy was being adopted so that severe problems created by recent unprecedented rains in the city and other long unresolved civic issues of Karachi were solved at the same time.

He said that a Provincial Coordination & Implementation Committee (PCIC) had been constituted while combining all the concerned stakeholders including federal and Sindh government to work jointly for development of the city.

He conceded the situation that different land-owning agencies were present in Karachi as earlier it had been difficult to work for development of the city under a unified strategy.

He said the PCIC would now ensure that the federal and Sindh government would be able to work for development of Karachi without any issue of jurisdiction or land control.

The PM said that the Sindh government would also contribute to Rs 1,100 billion development package for the city.

He said that issues of solid waste disposal, mass transit, bulk water supply, drainage, sewerage, and dilapidated road networks, would be resolved in maximum three years’ time under the development package.

He said the Karachi Circular Railway Project and Bus Rapid Transit Systems would be developed in the city under this package as for the purpose the federal and Sindh government would join hands.

He acknowledged the role of army during the recent rain emergency in extending relief to people in distress.

Difficult time

He said that National Disaster Management Authority would continue with its operation to de-silt storm water drains of Karachi while Sindh government would resettle the people whose houses had encroached upon the lands of drains in the city.

“I do acknowledge that people of Karachi have come through a very difficult time as God willing we will resolve their pending problems.” said the PM.

He said that Pakistan had quite easily come through the situation of coronavirus pandemic on the basis of a coordinated effort. “While we will make sure that such a coordinated effort would also be used for resolving problems of Karachi,” he said.

“Look at the situation in our neighbouring India where deaths due to coronavirus have been on the rise while their economy has crashed,” he said.

He said that a similar development package would also be unveiled for rest of Sindh province where heavy rains had caused massive destruction.