Bound to bring
socio-economic change for Karachi
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
May 06 -12, 2002
Karachi, the industrial and commercial capital of
Pakistan, has finally got the long awaited projects i.e. Lyari
Expressway and Northern Bypass which are bound to bring visible
changes in the socio-economic life of this metropolitan.
President Pervez Musharraf has already performed
the groundbreaking ceremony of the twin projects recently and the two
projects are scheduled to complete in next 30 months at an estimated
cost of Rs 8-10 billion.
Actually, the Northern Bypass and Southern Bypass
were the two projects announced by the previous governments over
decades ago. However, the projects were never allowed to come on the
ground as the announcement for construction of the projects were meant
for public consumption only to gain cheap and temporary political
gains by the so-called political or democratic governments. Southern
Bypass project was literally scrapped when highly powerful segment of
the society opposed the project on the pretext that the traffic noise
of the road will disturb their peace and perfect living standards.
While the Northern Bypass lying pending in the files since the date of
announcement due to non-approval of the budget for the project.
While rating this port city in terms of environment
conditions, some international rating companies have declared Karachi
as one of the most polluted city of the world obviously due to poor
traffic management. The entire area right from Keamari Oil and port
Terminals to Sohrab Goth the exit point of the city is enveloped by
the smoke and noise making vehicles causing life hazards for the
people living here. Apart from excessive pollution, the heavy
trawlers, containers, oil tankers etc. reduce the road occupancy for
other vehicles passing through the main and the only thoroughfare of
After completion of the Northern Bypass, the entire
heavy traffic meant for the upcountry will move outside the city which
hopefully will give a much cleaner and pleasant environment to the
Apart from this social impact, the Northern Bypass
passing from the outskirts of the industrial areas of Mauripur, Hawks
Bay, Shershah and Site Industrial area and North Karachi would
certainly bring a boom in industrial investment in these areas which
are lying deserted since the inception of this country. This road is
certainly going to add a new colour in the economic scenario of the
city. Presently, people of Karachi have only one access for reaching
the Jinnah Terminal Airport through Shahrahe Faisal. People face great
hardships in catching their flight in case of an eventuality like
strikes, blockade due to disturbance or due to movement of
dignitaries. Since the Northern Bypass has been connected with the
Super Highway, it will provide another effective option for the people
to reach the airport.
On the occasion of groundbreaking ceremony,
President said that construction of Northern Bypass will help carry
the entire heavy traffic from port areas to upcountry without entering
the city via superhighway, thus saving our roads from overloading and
damage as well as also overcoming the heavy congestion.
He said the expressway would add to the beauty of
the city as it will be passing on both sides of Lyari River and will
serve as Canal Bank Road in Lahore.
He said that a major advantage to be achieved from
this project would be that people who are living under unhygienic
conditions in hutment and in gutter water will have a decent living
for themselves as some 14000 families will be allotted plots of 80 sq.
yards. They would also be provided cash of Rs 50,000 for construction
With the progress achieved in the communication
sector, not only all parts of the country will be integrated with each
other within next 5 years but the country will also be integrated with
the Central Asian States.
President while visualizing the Pakistan's future
in the communication sector, pointed out that in the next three to
four years the coastal highway would be completed, all roads in
Northern Areas constructed linking Chitral, Hunza, Kaghan, Gilgit,
Skardu valleys with each other.
By the time the Northern Bypass would also have
been completed and linked with the coastal highway and on to the Indus
highway, besides completion of Lyari Expressway, M-1 from Peshawar to
Pindi, M-3 from Lahore to Faisalabad and M-4 from Faisalabad to Multan.
President said that during the next 3-4 years this
whole communication network would be ready and thus the whole country
will be having an integrated network of roads making Pakistan an
He said that in the 3-4 years period Pakistan will
have three highways, the National Highway, the existing G.T Road and
the Indus Highway and said when this whole network will be completed;
there shall be the real integration of Pakistan.
Highlighting the strategic importance of Pakistan,
the President made a reference to a full page article on Gwadar which
was published in top Indian magazine "India Today" and said
it reflected the perturbness with regard to the development of Gwadar.
He said with regional communication and internal
communication coupled with rail and road linkages, Pakistan is set to
embark upon a booming era of progress and development within the next