KARACHI, (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday while urging the Sindh government to reconsider the Bundle Island project, called for renewed coordination between federal and provincial governments for the successful accomplishment of megaprojects.
“Despite political differences, we will have to move along for sake of country and Sindh. All this is inter- connected. Some things the federal government cannot do alone while others Sindh government cannot do solely without center’s support,” the prime minister said.
Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony of the Karachi Circular Railway project, the prime minister said the project would shift the burden from Karachi’s roads.
Federal Ministers Asad Umar, Azam Swati, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, and Ali Haider Zaidi, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, and Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah attended the ceremony besides senior officers.
The prime minister said major cities were engines of growth for any country like London had been for UK, New York for the US, and Karachi for Pakistan.
He said Karachi was about to take off in the 1980s when it was hit by riots, thus impacting the whole country.
He said in September, both the federal and Sindh governments announced the Karachi Transformation Plan for the uplift of the city.
He believed that Karachi could attract investment from across the world but the provision of basic infrastructure was a prerequisite like public transport. He said the required investment was not made in the public transport sector in Karachi.
Imran Khan said the issue of water supply to Karachi would be resolved within two years once the K-4 project was completed.
The prime minister urged the Sindh government to reconsider the Bundle Island project as Sindh would be the sole beneficiary of it in form of profits as well as jobs. The project would also help reduce the burden on Karachi, he added.
He said it would be difficult to provide utilities if Karachi continued to spread at the same pace. Moreover, the cities would become unsustainable if future planning was not made timely. He said the Ravi City was also being developed to protect Lahore.
The prime minister said both Bundle Island and Ravi City projects would attract foreign investment, particularly from the overseas Pakistanis. He said the foreign investment would also help stabilize local currency unless the country’s exports did not touch the desired level.
He said the work on Karachi’s three drains was moving at a fast pace to avert the recurrence of the flooding situation in the city and also lauded the FWO for the project’s swift execution.
He told the gathering that the mega projects could not be completed without political will. He said the projects got stuck up in ministries unless they get the full backing of the government. Any unnecessary delay also makes the projects financially unfeasible, he added.
The prime minister said both the federal and Sindh governments would have to pay full attention to the KCR project to save costs. He reiterated that the federal government was resolved to execute the project and hoped the provincial government would also extend cooperation in this regard.
Addressing the ceremony, Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati said that KCR was a public-private partnership project which would take around two years to complete.
By pursuing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, besides another seven development projects were also in pipeline for Karachi to be funded by the federal government.
Recalling the grandeur of the city during the 1970s which also featured a tram service, he said the city had been ruined over the last forty years.
Regarding his ministry, he resolved that within the next few months, Pakistan Railways would be turned into a profitable entity.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said Greenline service would start its operations by November this year.
Moreover, K-4 bulk water supply project was scheduled to complete by October 2023, however, he desired its early completion before August 14, 2023.
He said work on another mega project of Freight Corridor would start soon as feasibility was ready and a proposal from a Chinese firm had also been received.
He said in addition to the federal government’s several ongoing or future development projects for Karachi, working on many development projects in the other 14 priority districts of Sindh was also in full swing.
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