Prime Minister Imran Khan, while urging the Sindh government to reconsider the Bundal Island project, on Monday called for renewed coordination between the federal and provincial governments for successful accomplishment of mega projects.
“Despite political differences, we will have to move along for the sake of the country and Sindh. All this is inter-connected,” the prime minister said while addressing the groundbreaking ceremony of the Karachi Circular Railway project.
“The federal government needs the cooperation of the Sindh government on many things as it cannot act alone and vice versa.”
The prime minister said the KCR project would greatly help reduce traffic congestion on Karachi's roads. He said major cities were the engine of growth for any country like London had been for the UK, New York for the US and Karachi for Pakistan.
He said Karachi was about to take off in the 1980s but it was hit by riots, thus impacting the whole country economically.
He said in September last year, 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 prerequisite like public transport.
The prime minister said the required investment was not made on the public transport sector in Karachi. He 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 Bundal Island project as Sindh would be the sole beneficiary of it in the form of profits as well as jobs.
The project would also help reduce 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 the Bundal Island and Ravi City projects would attract foreign investment, particularly from overseas Pakistanis.
He said the foreign investment would also help stabilise local currency unless the country's exports did not touch the desired level.
Read More: KCR in spotlight
He said work on Karachi's three drains was moving on a fast pace to avert recurrence of flooding in the city and also lauded the FWO for 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 got 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 public money.
He reiterated that the federal government was committed 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 the KCR was a public-private partnership project which would take around two years to complete.
He said another seven development projects were also in the 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.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said Greenline bus 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, work on many development projects in other 14 priority districts of Sindh was also in full swing.
Federal Ministers Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Ali Haider Zaidi, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah attended the ceremony, besides senior officers.
(With input from APP)
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