KARACHI WILL BE THE BEST CITY IN THE REGION

Says City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal

By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Mar 06 - 12, 2006

Apparently looking youthful, but having a noticeable depth and ideas, Karachi Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal has an obsession to elevate living standards of Karachi at par to any internationally developed metropolitan city in this region.

Speaking at length about development projects in hand on which he said the entire city government machinery is working on war footings, when completed these would give an international look to Karachi which is not far away from now, he observed in a firm tone.

Starting from his efforts in road management, he said that currently work at five under-passes at Nazimabad Petrol Pump round about, Liaquatabad, Ghareebabad, Hasan Square overhead bridge and at Karsaz is going on at full swing which will be completed within a record period of 4 months at a total cost of Rs120 million.

Besides these under-passes, construction work on two major roads i.e. Northern Bypass and Lyari Expressway is also being carried out.

He also referred with the newly introduced elevated expressway scheme of a 24-km, 85 feet wide with a capacity to house 6 lanes of traffic from Jinnah Bridge to Quaidabad in Landhi for which agreement with a Malaysian firm has already been signed. Once this road-networking target is achieved, the traffic will flow without any interruption from Karachi port to Landhi with its trickling down benefits to a large number of catchment areas in Karachi. This elevated expressway will also provide an excellent alternative for approaching Karachi airport without disturbing any VIP movement on the existing Sharea Faisal, which is the only road to approach Jinnah Terminal.

When his attention was invited to comment over the performance of the known inefficient, idle and corrupt traffic police which are more interesting in personal gains instead of paying attention towards traffic management, the Nazim with a light smile on his face disclosed that this issue has also been addressed at the highest level. From now onward, the traffic police department will also work under the city government for which notification has already been issued. Under this change of the traffic management, the city government is hiring services of international traffic experts to acquire equipment of international standard for the traffic management. As a result of this change citizens allergic to the traffic police due to its highhandedness will not see them on the roads, as is being practiced in the modern cities of the world. The entire traffic of the city would be monitored through equipment, which will give a newer look to Karachi hopefully. All these efforts are being made to build up the image of Karachi as an international city, the Nazim observed.

He said that the 20 million population of Karachi, which is divided into 18 city towns, has been provided a sum of Rs50 million each for development and improvement of sanitation, sewerage system of the entire district. Principally speaking, he said that even the best construction of roads would not survive in the face of bad sewerage system as the overflowing water damages the roads very soon. Whatever we are building and constructing we have an approach to build them for coming generations.

He claimed that the citizens of Karachi would see the change in near future that the efforts being made will start showing results in the days to come.

Regarding Scheme 33, which is the biggest residential scheme in Asia, he said it is also being taken for development for the first time in the history of Karachi. He said that the city government in consultation with all the stakeholders has assumed the charge for development of this mammoth scheme.

The industrial areas, which are the lifeline of the economy of this city, were neglected so far. He said that Korangi Industrial Area, consisting of over 32.000 small and large units is the largest industrial zone of the country which contributes over Rs250 million to the government exchequer every day but it does not have the proper roads and sewerage system. In fact the development of this area to provide all civic facilities was in the interest of the people because if the industrialists were not taken care of they will shift their industry to other developed industrial zones elsewhere in Pakistan. It is in the interest of the government to provide them proper roads and other civic facilities in the larger interest of the nation because these are the industries, which help addressing the unemployment problem in Pakistan.

In order to revamping of the water, sewerage and road system the city government would be spending Rs.1.2 billion to give a new look to this highly important matter.

When asked what steps he has taken to ensure that the funds provided to different zones are properly and judiciously utilized, he said we know that it is a sensitive area hence in order to protect the national wealth we have involved third party to oversee the contractors i.e. the respectable citizens of the relevant community. He said that development funds have been provided without any discrimination to the towns whether the elected town Nazim belongs to Haq Parast group or not and this could be discussed with those Nazims of other groups in Karachi. This is a challenge that no body can blame us of discrimination in fund distribution, he observed.