KARACHI: Development work on the 30-year-old Baldia Town Cottage Industry project must be completed within the year, said city administrator Lala Fazlur Rehman, adding that the project will provide jobs to more than 20,000 people in Baldia Town and adjoining areas.
Rehman laid the foundation stone of the project at a ceremony on Wednesday and the project’s director, Ameer Bhatti, reviewed the project’s history and its current status. The Karachi Municipal Corporation started the project in 1982-1983 and allotted around 2009 plots of 200 square yards each to people through balloting.
The 450 acres of land, however, was illegally occupied by land-grabbers over the next few years after which the development activities were stalled. The city government recently reclaimed 174 acres of the land and will soon auction 42 commercial plots of 200 square yards each for the development of a cottage industry zone. Meanwhile, 33 plots have been allotted for public welfare. “We have now taken action and have resumed the development work here,” said Rehman, adding that he hoped the area would become “a hub of trade and commercial activities”.
The area would be provided with roads and storm water drains as well as water, sewerage, electricity and gas connections, so that this zone could promote commercial activities in the country, he said. Rehman assured people that their land would not be encroached upon again. EDO revenue Roshan Ali Sheikh, EDO works and services Rasheed Mughal, EDO municipal services Masood Alam, additional EDO revenue Matanat Ali Khan, DO revenue-II and other officers attended the ceremony.