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Bound to bring socio-economic change for Karachi

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 the city.

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 passersby.

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 of houses.

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 integrated country.

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 3-4 years.