KARACHI: Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said that the Sindh government is working to transform Karachi into a more livable, green and resilient metropolitan city by formulating and following the well thought out Karachi Transformation Strategy (KTS). The objective of the KTS is to improve the city’s physical and socio-economic infrastructure and services delivery in water supply and sanitation, transportation, urban spaces, and institutional strengthening and transformation.
This he said while addressing the launching ceremony of Educational and Cultural Zone - Saddar under the World Bank-assisted Karachi neighbourhood improvement project (KNIP) at Burnes Garden Monday evening.
The programme was attended by provincial ministers Nasir Hussain Shah and Sardar Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, World Bank Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan, Planning and Development Chairperson Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to the CM Sohail Rajput and others.
He said that the World Bank has engaged itself in the KTS to support the Sindh government’s vision and has carried out a comprehensive Karachi City Diagnostic (KCD) programme. The KCD is an unprecedented endeavour to collect comprehensive data on the city’s economy, livability and key urban infrastructure, providing an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing the metropolis and estimates of investment levels needed to bridge the infrastructure gap and improve the metropolitan region’s economic potential.
In light of the depth and scale of the city’s challenges in terms of policy reforms, institutional governance and infrastructure needs, the provincial government and World Bank have agreed to launch a dual-track approach.
In the ﬁrst track, the World Bank is supporting a ‘quick wins’ operation under KNIP, focusing on fast, low-cost and high impact interventions to respond to emergent city needs. The engagement would be a transition to the deeper institutional reforms and major investment needs identiﬁed under the KCD. These reforms would focus on priority areas, such as building a competitive business environment, improving city governance and municipal service delivery and increasing access to water supply and sanitation for implementation of major KTS initiatives to transform the city. The initiative includes improving the safety, accessibility and attractiveness of public spaces in Karachi, such as streets, parks, city squares and pedestrian areas. It also aims to ensure equal access for all, including women, youth and the underprivileged. Once completed, the project will also make it easier for investors and the public to access services, such as construction work and business registrations.
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The cost of the project is US$98 million, in which the World Bank’s share is $86 million, while the provincial government will provide $12 million. The project involves the improvement of public spaces and mobility in three select neighbourhoods comprising the revitalisation of the Saddar downtown area, Malir and Korangi.
The CM launched the project by unveiling the plaque and later, along with the World Bank country director and the provincial ministers, he visited Sharae Kamal Attaturk where work has started.
Saddar has a high concentration of civic, education, cultural and commercial activities and a large number of daily visitors and passers-by. The subprojects include upgrading roads and streets, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings within existing rights-of-way (ROW), upgrading existing open spaces, installing shade features and removing barriers for visitors, reorganising trafﬁc patterns and closing certain street segments, installing signs, street furniture, lighting and bus stop shelters, organising parking and installing safety barriers to reduce vehicular encroachment on sidewalks and enhance safety and rehabilitating infrastructure and storm water drainage beneath roads upgraded by the project.
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The education and cultural zone forms a triangle - Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road from Shaheen Complex to Pakistan Chowk, Deen Muhammad Wafai Road from Arts Council to Pakistan Chowk and MR Kiyani Road from Shaheen Complex to Fawara Chowk and Sharae Kamal Attaturk from the Sindh Secretariat gate to DJ Science College.
These interventions are part of the ﬁrst phase of the project. The second phase includes provision of an underground car parking facility and public spaces, such as food centres on Sharae Kamal Attaturk. The underground car parking of 10,000 square metres each will accommodate 400 cars and 600 motorcycles and will be developed as per international standards. This intervention will greatly alleviate congestion caused by haphazard street parking and will cater to the parking requirements of the Sindh Secretariat, educational institutes, museums, neighbourhood and commercial areas
The Shaheen Complex intersection, Arts Council junction and Pakistan Chowk junction are designed in a manner that ensures public safety, thereby improving the flow of traffic. Midblocks and islands will be provided for convenience of trafﬁc and the pedestrians.
The junctions will be provided with guard rails along the edges to prevent pedestrians from crossing on to the roads. Each crosswalk will be provided with a pelican crossing for additional safety of the pedestrians. The use of tactile ﬂooring will be made to facilitate persons with disabilities.
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Spaces within the Arts Council complex are designed to improve and cater to the infrastructure needs of the complex, with an introduction of landscape features, seating arrangement and various other facilities.
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The cost of the education and cultural zone project is Rs1.44 billion and work is planned to be completed within 10 months. In the second phase, a food and recreational zone and administrative zone will be established in different areas of Saddar.
The KNIP project in Malir involves rehabilitation and improvement of the Khokhrapar Road from Saudabad to Thado nullah.
The three-kilometre road is a three-lane road on both sides with a service road, where available. The main features of the project include provision of road safety features and trafﬁc control devices. The riding quality will be improved through resurfacing of the existing carriageway. The plan includes reconstruction of the pavement structure in sections where the existing carriageway remains inundated for a longer period and has undergone a complete base failure, provision of pedestrian facilities especially designed for maximum convenience of the road users, persons with disabilities, the elderly, women and children, provision of improved facilities for public transport users, parking provision near commercial centres, mosques and educational institutions, provision of parking for private vehicles, rickshaws, taxis and drop-off areas, provision of LED street lights, provision of trash bins at convenient locations in the corridor, improvement of the existing green belt via installation of benches and planting trees, landscaping of the intersections and other available open spaces along the road to beautify the area and dualisation of the bridge over Thado nullah connecting the rural areas of Memon Goth with the urban areas of Malir and Korangi.
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The plan also includes the replacement of old water mains and choked sewers and rehabilitation of the utility network and construction of storm water drains along both sides of the carriageway.
This is a Rs733 million project and it will be completed within six months.
The cost of the project in Korangi is Rs694 million. In the ﬁrst phase, the project involves rehabilitation and improvement of 9000 Road from the Coast Guard Chowrangi to Ibrahim Hyderi. It is a 3km dual and single carriageway road to be developed from the Coast Guard Chowrangi to Ibrahim Hyderi. The same cross sections as those for Malir are designed for Korangi. It would have sidewalks on both sides of the roads, which would be widened for ease of pedestrians.
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Other features of this road include pedestrian crossings, lighting, bus shelters, safety barriers for pedestrians, rehabilitation of underground infrastructure and storm water drainage beneath upgraded roads within the existing ROW.