A “Record” Package of Rs 1.1 Trillion For Karachi’s Modification announced by PM Imran Khan

Pakistan News: A “Record” Package of Rs 1.1 Trillion For Karachi’s Modification announced by PM Imran Khan

The city’s drainage and sewerage issues were brought into national focus last month after record-breaking monsoon rains caused widespread devastation and left dozens dead.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi alongside Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Governor Imran Ismail after chairing a meeting of the “Karachi Committee”, the premier said the federal and Sindh governments had decided to deal with Karachi’s problems “together” following negotiations.

He added that the federal and provincial governments were both contributing to the Rs1,100 billion package.

In a statement following the announcement, PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was quoted as saying that out of the Rs1.1 trillion.

The federal government had allocated Rs300 billion while the Sindh government committed “more than Rs800 billion”. He termed the allocation a “good start” for Karachi’s development.

Noting that floods caused by heavy rains have hit not only Karachi but Balochistan, interior Sindh, Swat, and his own constituency of Mianwali, Prime Minister Imran in his address said it was decided in view of unprecedented rains that all of Karachi’s issues would be tackled at once, and negotiations were subsequently held.

“I would have come [to Karachi] sooner but we had to make a structure,” he said, revealing that the transformation plan would be implemented through the Provincial Coordination Implementation Committee (PCIC) under the chief minister.

He said all stakeholders will be involved in its implementation. “The army will play a big role,” he added, noting that the army helps the civilian administration whenever there are floods or a calamity.

“The package we have brought for Karachi is historic,” Prime Minister Imran said.

The first problem the plan will address is of water supply and the Centre and Sindh government will each work on a part of the Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme, also called K-IV. “Our effort is to permanently solve Karachi’s water problem in three years,” the premier said.

He said the second problem is of encroachments on nullahs on which the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has already started work.

“The people who will be displaced [during the anti-encroachment drive] are the poorest so the Sindh government has taken responsibility for resettling them; federal government will obviously remove encroachments,” he added.

The third and fourth issues that the plan will focus on are concern the city’s sewerage system and solid waste disposal. “We will make a proper system,” Prime Minister Imran said.

“There is also the problem of transport. We will also complete the KCR (Karachi Circular Railway) in this package. Then roads [will be built for] BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) and other lines. We have decided to completely solve the issue of transportation and roads,” he told the presser.

The premier said the Centre and Sindh had decided to solve Karachi’s problems together “once and for all” through the coordination committee as residents of Karachi “have had to go through a hard time”. But he acknowledged things were not all easy.

“There were different jurisdictions in different areas so implementation was difficult,” he said. “That is why we have formed PCIC so all stakeholders are in one place.

“I am very hopeful that the betterment to come out of the hard times that Karachi’s people have faced is that these problems will be solved.”

The prime minister noted that there has been widespread destruction in the interior areas. “We will sit [with the Sindh government] and discuss how to help,” he said, adding that there are high floods in Swat and Chitral too.

Prime Minister Imran said God had “put us through test before floods in the form of corona”.


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