Imran calls for empowering LG system in Karachi

PM blames absence of unified command structure for city’s woes


Our Correspondent September 03, 2020
PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that the only way to address issues being faced by the people of Karachi was to have an independent administrator or a fully functioning local government system.

The prime minister, who is going to undertake an official visit to the rain-hit provincial metropolis at the weekend, added that matters relating to water supply, sewage treatment, disposal of solid waste management and the Building Control Authority should be handled at the administrator or local government level.

As the local governments have completed their tenures and stood dissolved, the Sindh government is in the process of appointing an administrator to run the affairs of the city.

The prime minister blamed absence of a unified command structure -- that can provide the megacity direction and meet the metropolis’s infrastructural and civic needs -- for Karachi’s problems.

For the success of the projects, the premier said, it was necessary to set up an empowered and efficient system to ensure implementation of various projects within a stipulated time period.

Addressing a meeting on the “Karachi Transformation Plan”, the prime minister said the people of Karachi have been facing problems regarding clean water supply, sewerage, solid waste management, drainage and transport for a long time and, unfortunately, solutions to those problems on a permanent basis were neglected in the past.

Imran said recent rains have highlighted structural problems on the administrative side, adding the federal government was fully aware of all the issues.

The meeting was attended by federal ministers Asad Umar, Shibli Faraz, Syed Aminul Haq, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail (video link), NDMA Chairman Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal and secretaries of relevant departments. The meeting reviewed the plan to address Karachi’s long-standing problems.

Later, Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz tweeted that Prime Minister was striving for equitable development of entire Pakistan, adding Khan was committed to restoring the lights and colours of the City of the Quaid.

The information minister said that the prime minister would announce a special package for the people of Karachi, adding that the development of Karachi was a guarantee of Pakistan’s prosperity as it was the economic heart of Pakistan.

KCR to be completed by mid-2023

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar was informed on Thursday that the construction of Karachi Circular Railway will now be completed in the next three years by mid-2023.

The details emerged during a review meeting of the KCR project in Islamabad in which railways secretary, PPP Authority CEO and senior officials participated.

It was revealed in the meeting that work has been started on various phases of the KCR project with the view to ensuring timely completion of each phase.

Umar directed Pakistan Railways to formulate a system of public-private partnership for the third phase of the KCR project. He said that Karachi Circular Railway was an important project; it will not only provide modern transport facilities to the people of Karachi but it will also be a very attractive project for investment.

The officials of the ministry of railways said that it was constantly in touch with the Sindh government and work on underpasses at various places was expected to start soon.

It was decided in the meeting that necessary steps would immediately be taken to involve private sector in the project and the process will be completed within the current financial year.

Moreover, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Authority will provide necessary cooperation and assistance to the ministry of railways in this regard.

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