Dec 22 - 28, 2008

Karachi Dec 19: At least 4 million gallon untreated sewerage water being thrown into the sea has turned the bluish green waters into a stinking place besides destroying the marine life as well as the beauty of the golden sand beach of Karachi.

This was remarked by the young and energetic City Nazim Mustafa Kamal at a reception extended by the Emirates Global Islamic Bank in recognition of what the bank's president called "being one of the top three mayors of the world on the back of his unparallel services to turn Karachi into a world class metropolitan city through untiring efforts for development of superb city infrastructure in a record time".

Syed Mustafa Kamal during his presentation about development of Karachi said that he would avoid presenting a rosy picture of the city by highlighting his efforts in the process of development of city infrastructure rather he would like to share the challenges and difficulties being faced by the city government in accomplishing the targets.

Coming back on the issue of sewerage water which is destroying the beach and the marine life, he said that how the choosy international buyers would go to buy sea food including fish and the world class jumbo prawn cached out of dirty waters. In order to address this serious problem, Mustafa Kamal disclosed that at present the sewerage water from all over Karachi is being discharged into sea through seven outlets in the sea. The development of treatment plants having the capacity to treat the entire waste water is one of the priority areas. He said in a firm tone that work on the construction of treatment plants would start in 2009 and the job would be done in 2010 to give a healthy environment to the marine life and realize the lost beauty of the Karachi coast.

Karachi which is called the engine of growth needs sincere support of the society as well as the government as it caters the revenue needs of the entire country by generating 68 percent of the total revenue of the country. God forbid if it is destroyed the music would be faced by the entire country henceforth hampering its development means and hampering the growth of this rainbow city.

Outlining the efforts for the development of the city infrastructure, he said that the city government spent Rs30 billion on under surface projects like sewerage, water supply to construction roads of international standards. These huge funds and efforts are not visible because they are not visible on the surface. But it provided a sound foundation to protect the projects on the grounds. Without a sound underground sewerage and water system the projects on the grounds would not be sustainable as the seepage water is the killer of the development projects. The city government laid a sound underground infrastructure to give a solid ground for future development.

Citing the examples of bureaucratic hurdles and political disliking he said that the exciting project of elevated track for mass transit from Quaid Abad Landhi from Jinnah Bridge of Kemari was almost about to start when some of the environment NGO created a scene by raising objections that it would destroy the environment by damaging green belt alongside Shah Rah-e-Faisal. On this objection, the route of the elevated track was shifted to the side belt of railway land already under encroachment which runs parallel to the railway track.

Some times back former secretary of the Railways, who is presently chairman WAPDA, Shakil Durrani happily allowed developing the elevated track because he had seen our work in Karachi during his posting in this city. But unfortunately, he was shifted from railways to WAPDA and the man who replaced him first did not convince with our plans and later on demanded Rs16 billion as the cost of that land already encroached.

Now the city government has decided to return to its earlier designed map of the elevated route alongside Shah Rah-e-Faisal and expressed the hope to go for ground breaking of the project in early phase of 2009. He said that a Malaysian firm has already committed to construct this elevated route on turn key basis. That means the city government would have to give no money and the amount spent would be self generating through toll tax. No doubt this would resolve the transportation problem of half of the city having an18 million plus population.

Syed Mustafa Kamal also floated an idea as a food for thought for the citizens of Karachi of establishing a Karachi Development Fund in order to make a sustainable growth and development of the city and ensure maintenance and protection of the costly infrastructure developed in the city. This proposed fund would be managed by a committee of undisputed senior citizens of the city.

Earlier Syed Tariq Hussein, President Emirates Global Islamic Bank welcomed the chief guest.