KARACHI: The Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah said that it was the first time in the history of Karachi that the city was hosting the longest match series of Pakistan Super League (PSL), which started from March 10 to March 17, 2019.
The CM said this in a meeting held at the CM House reviewing arrangements for final match today (Sunday). The meeting was attended by Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani, East Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ahmed Ali Siddiqui and other relevant officials.
The CM had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of local government minister, comprising Karachi commissioner, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) Managing Director (MD), East DC and others.
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The East district administration was given the Herculean tasks the National Stadium is located in their district.
Extensive coordination was required to bring all the civic agencies on one page in order to ensure that all facilities were provided to the spectators.
Coordination meetings with Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, District Municipal Corporation, East, Sindh Solid Waste Management Board, K-Electric, TCS and others were conducted to ensure that all departments were sensitised as to what their role would be during the event.
The officials also visited various sites surrounding the National Stadium to help expedite the process of construction going on there. The CM personally visited the stadium five times to review the arrangements.
It was ensured that all the debris in and around the National Stadium was removed and the entire area was beautified by rehabilitating the greenbelt and with the help of innovative cut-outs, lighting, digital streamers and boards. In this regard, commendable steps were taken by the district administration, the meeting reviewed, and slogans of 'I love cricket' and 'Karachi: The Cricket City' were seen across the city.
The meeting also reviewed the festive spirit created across the city. Large cut-outs of players were placed on footpaths and roundabouts, lights and sound systems were installed to celebrate the love for cricket at prime locations including Do Talwar, Teen Talwar, Karsaz, Sharae Faisal, Korangi Road, University Road amongst others. Digital streamers were also installed to welcome cricket and PSL to Karachi, while musical shows and other celebratory activities at various spots have also been arranged.
In order to provide easy access to the National Stadium, six parking lots had been established, and in order to inculcate the PSL spirit, each parking lot was named after each team that is part of the tournament.
At all these parking lots, various facilities were provided to assist and facilitate the spectators as well as to ensure their safety. Mobile washroom facilities, walkthrough gates along with queue channels covered by sheds, tents and shades for people waiting for shuttles, for drivers accompanying spectators, medical camps, first aid booths, sufficient illumination, parking markings for the ease of drivers, 40-50 ushers and parking managers, signage and directions, selfie booths and autograph booths for the spectators, CCTV cameras with round-the-clock surveillance through security booths, information booths with officials from the deputy commissioner office to assist spectators, availability of cold drinking water, food and beverages for the drivers and teams, and a fast and continuous shuttle service carrying spectators to and from the National Stadium were the facilities available to spectators. A shuttle service was also operational to carry senior citizens, children and specially-abled people from one gate to the other.
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Additionally, metal detectors, vehicle searching devices and walkthrough gates had also been installed at disembarking points where the shuttles dropped the spectators.
Moreover, the overall cleanliness of the stadium and clearance of all debris was also arranged by the deputy commissioner office.
Measures were also taken to clear the roads in case of rain.
Fireworks for the end of the tournament have also been arranged by the district administration. CM appreciated the efforts and the hard work of all the law enforcement agencies. "This was a well-coordinated event in the city and I am certain we would be holding such events in the future as well," Shah said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2019.
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