CDGK'S HISTORIC ROLE IN DEVELOPMENT OF KARACHI
IMPROVED INFRASTRUCTURE PAVES WAY FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH
July 06 - 12, 2009
Today, Karachi is entirely a different city from what it used to be four years back. Any one visiting Karachi after a gap of three or four years may find that the appearance of the city is unlike the old one. The sprawling green belts all around the city is a pleasant sight to the souring eyes. But there is something more than it gives to the eyes. It is the underground development of the sewerage system of the city which no doubt is a great achievement on the part of the City District Government. One should not forget to recall the days when it was difficult to move in monsoon season as neither man or vehicles could move in the knee high accumulated rain waters on the roads right from Defence Housing Society to Liaquatabad. The construction of a network of high standards roads, bridges, flyovers have altogether changed the complexion of the city
Whatever has been done by the city government is led by its young and energetic City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal and its team deserves unbiased reckoning of the remarkable performance by all the citizens irrespective to their political affiliations. The development of a hassle free swift road network has paved the way for economic growth not only of Karachi but it has trickled down effects on over all economic growth of the country.
Karachi which is bigger than 67 countries around the world has a population of 18 million plus which is growing at the rate of 6 percent due to influx of population from all corners of the country. Similarly, the vehicular population is also multiplying with every passing day reducing the road occupancy on one hand while making the traffic movement a gigantic task for the traffic organizers on the other.
On the back of this tremendous growth of population and traffic, the development of road network on the most modern lines is an example to follow by all the urban centers in the country. The credit for uplifting of the city goes to the City Government and its dynamic leader Syed Mustafa Kamal. The introduction of CNG buses is yet another positive effort on the part of the city government especially in the face of rising pollution which consequently is increasing smoke and noise pollution in the city. In order to address the problem of rising pollution it is imperative to introduce CNG buses as well as Mass Transit System to reduce fuel consumption, traffic congestion, accidents, police corruption on roads, and above all to save human life from deadly smoke pollution killing thousands of the people every year.
SIGNAL FREE CORRIDORS
The construction of signal free corridors in Karachi can be described as a real feat of the city government which has made hassle free traveling on the congested city roads besides saving the precious time of the commuters.
The signal free corridor from Jinnah Terminal to SITE industrial area which passes through under passes constructed at Liaquatabad and Nazimabad and has made it possible to the business community to move to and from airport within 30 minutes to their place.
Currently, the City District Government Karachi is working on the construction of 116 pedestrian bridges on different roads citywide while the repairing and construction of roads around Saddar Parking Plaza are being carried forward as part of the Saddar Traffic Management. These projects are being developed to support the Corridor-III project from Safoora Chowrangi to Saddar.
The signal free corridors are so impressive that the Ambassador of Indonesia has sought assistance from the city government to develop signal free corridors in his country on the same pattern.
City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal while reviewing the pace of work on under construction signals free corridor-III has issued various directives to concerned officials to accomplish the task within the given time frame.
SIGNAL FREE SHAHRAE FAISAL
City Government has planned to construct more than six flyovers and U-turns at Sharae Faisal to make this busiest road signal free from Airport to Jinnah Bridge.
The proposed fourth signal free corridor of the city would cost Rs2.9billion for which necessary amount had already been allocated in the next budget. City District Government Karachi has completed the survey of the corridor and development work on this project will begin soon.
Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal has directed EDO Works & Services to start work on the preliminary formalities without delay so that development work on this project could begin as soon as possible. According to plan a right turn flyover will be constructed near FTC Flyover so that the traffic from Airport to Saddar area could use it while a 2-lane flyover will be constructed from Lucky Star to Jinnah Hospital to reduce the rush at the signal.
A two lane flyover each will be constructed at Metropole Hotel, Hotel Mehran and PIDC Roundabout to facilitate traffic running from Metropole Hotel to Saddar Cantt, Clifton to Saddar area, and Saddar to PIDC respectively. Besides traffic management rules will be applied at other places of Sharae Faisal to make it signal free from Airport to Jinnah Bridge at PIDC.
The City Nazim has also directed works and service department to prepare separate plan for all the projects of Corridor - IV so that development work could be started after completion of full homework. Nazim Karachi has also instructed concerned officials to ensure start of work on this project within next four months.
ROAD FROM TOLL PLAZA TO JINNAH TERMINAL
Yet another under construction 13km long road linking Toll Plaza at Superhighway with Jinnah Terminal, Shahrae Faisal will be available for traffic within a month after completion of its first phase.
After the opening of new road the travel distance between the Toll Plaza and Jinnah Terminal via Malir Cantonment area would shrink down to just 10 minutes. The first phase of this project will cost more than Rs.01billion while the second phase will involve the construction of an under pass and a flyover over it with a cost of Rs.500million.
Under the directives of the Nazim, storm water drainage system and street lights on this road and linking of new corridor with the central command and control system of the City Government would also be installed.
In order to solve the transport problems and to provide more convenience and ease to citizens the city government has discovered new traveling routes in the city. After the completion of this project residents of Shah Faisal Colony, Landhi, Korangi, Malir and Bin Qasim would not need to go to Sohrab Goth in their journey from Airport to Superhighway which would also enable them to cover the same distance in just 20 to 30 minutes which presently takes 2 to 3 hours. Likewise the passengers traveling from Hyderabad via Superhighway to Airport would feel much convenience when they would get at the Airport from Toll Plaza in just 10 minutes.
The construction of this new Shahrah would also bring considerable decrease in the traffic pressure at the busiest Sharae Faisal and Rashid Minhas Road and it would also prove helpful in lessening volume of traffic at Sohrab Goth. The new road would also provide a direct link to Jinnah Terminal from Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Pehalwan Goth, and Corridor-III. All these measures taken by City Government would further prove helpful in maintaining hurdle free and swift flow of traffic on the city arteries.
KARACHI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
"Karachi Development Trust" is initiated by Nazim Karachi with a focus to carry on the process of development and maintenance of infrastructure in Karachi. The utilization of the fund collected under this trust would be authorized by a five member board comprised of non controversial and non political personalities. Nazim suggested the names of (R) Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, former Governor of State Bank Dr. Ishrat Hussain, and Dr. Adeeb Rizvi founder of SUIT as possible trustees while he himself submitted the form to donate one thousand rupees each month in the account of the Karachi Development Trust. He said that if all account holders donate only Rs.5 in this account than we could collect Rs.45 million monthly.
City Nazim while announcing the establishment of Karachi Development Trust said that Karachi earns 70 percent of national revenue but in return it gets only two percent on total income and payment of that petty sum too depends on the better financial condition of the country. In such conditions it is hard to continue the process of reconstruction and development in Karachi which is considered back bone of the national economy.
He said that's why we have now decided that the citizens of Karachi must now contribute to the development of their city and we henceforth would not ask for any money from the federal or provincial government and the journey of progress would be continued with our own resources.
Nazim Karachi said that everyone who lives in Karachi can devote at least 5 rupees monthly or more in the account of this trust. All this money would be deposited in the account of Karachi Development Trust which would be utilized only under the supervision of five non political, non controversial and well known and respected persons of the city. He said that in the first phase a total of 125,000 employees of city government and its subsidiary organizations would donate Rs.5 monthly as voluntary donation in the account of Karachi Development Trust. However they would be free to choose the amount and there would be no bound on them in this regard.
The CDGK in its annual budget has allocated Rs500 million for purchase of CNG Buses, Rs500million for construction of Parking Plaza, Rs 500million for Karachi Mass Transit System, Rs400 million for development work of Corridor 4 (Shahrah-e-Faisal), Rs 451.24 million for development works in 178 Union Councils/City Councilors, Rs370 million for Wireless Video & Surveillance System Phase-II, Rs350 million for Elevated Expressway, Rs250 million for Corridor-III, Rs250 million for Construction of Pedestrian Bridges, Rs250 million for Improvement & Maintenance of Roads, Footpaths, Culverts, Chowrangi and Intersections. City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal was of the view that in order to streamline the traffic movement and management the traffic police should work under the city government to facilitate the citizens in real sense. In fact it is not just to have more powers but it is in the interest of the people, city and the country to ensure peaceful growth of the city.
Parking is a great nuisance in Karachi and this problem is growing with every passing day due to growth in vehicular population. In order to address this issue, the city government has developed Pakistan's first parking plaza in the most congested area of Saddar. This project will be opened before 15th June where all latest facilities have been provided for parking of vehicles.
The work of computerization of Parking Plaza and installation of video cameras on each floor has entered into final phase and will be completed in a week. This Parking Plaza will have separate ways for parking of vehicles while lift will be used for taking vehicles to upper floors. Permanent members would be issued with cards while others would have to get tickets for using this facility. The building will also be equipped with modern fire fighting system and space for servicing of vehicles.
This first ever multistoried parking facility has been developed at Lines Area. Parking Plaza is to be inaugurated by the end of the first week of July 2009. For successful operation of the parking facility, it has been decided to utilize some roads in Saddar Area for charged parking while no parking would be imposed on other roads.
In this respect, Abdullah Haroon Road, Zaib-un-Nisa Street, Aga Khan-III Road, Raja Ghazanfar Ali Road, Shahra-e-Iraq and Preedy Street would have Charged Parking Roads while Mansfield Street, Mir Karam Ali Talpur road, and Dr. Daud Pota Road have been declared as No Parking Roads.
Furthermore, to facilitate the motorists/parking plaza users in Saddar Area, a shuttle service from Parking Plaza to the busy Saddar Area Roads would be started by the Parking Management Contractor in due course of time. The shuttle service would run on two routes. The first route would start from Parking Plaza to Mubarak Shaheed Road, Shahra-e-Iraq, Abdullah Haroon Road, Preedy Street, Dr. Daud Pota Road, Mansfield Street, Saddar Dawakhana while the second route would start from Parking Plaza to Taj Medical Complex Road, CafÈ Students Road, Mansfield Street, Saddar Dawakhana, Preedy Street, Zaib-un-Nisa Street, Shahra-e-Iraq, Mubarak Shaheed Road.
In order to provide convenience to citizens in crossing roads City District Government Karachi has made a comprehensive plan for construction of 116 pedestrian bridges at various busy roads and corridors. A sum of Rs500million has been allocated in the budget for 2009-2010 while further amount would be provided wherever needed.
Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal has directed Project Director Pedestrian Bridges to conduct the survey of all 116 places where pedestrian bridges will be installed to provide convenience to people in crossing roads. He said that the work on the construction of pedestrian bridges had begun during last year and some of the bridges had been completed which are now providing convenience to citizens. This may be noted that the City Government Karachi had earlier assigned the responsibility of construction of pedestrian bridges to a senior officer who was deputed as Project Director.
In the initial phase a sum of Rs100million was approved for this project and now Rs500million has been set aside for this purpose which will be used for construction of 116 pedestrian bridges. Presently work on construction of pedestrian bridges is underway at Behzad Lakhnavi Road Shadman North Nazimabad 2, Road 5000 opposite Iqbal Plaza, Nawab Siddique Ali Khan Road near Enquiry Office Liaquatabad Town, Sharea Faisal near Awami Markaz, Shahra-e-Pakistan near Incholi Gulberg Town, Shahra-e-Pakistan near Agha Khan Flats Gulberg Town, 5000 Road near Town Municipal Chowrangi North Karachi Town, 5000 Road near Bara Market North Karachi Town, 5000 Road near Saleem Center North Karachi Town, 5000 Road near UP Morr North Karachi Town, and Preedy Street (3 bridges).
EXCHANGE RATE LIKELY TO DEPRECIATE
The exchange rate regime is likely to witness yet another round of rupee devaluation of 4-5 percent against dollar during new financial year 2009-10.
Financial experts were of the view that a weaker rupee would boost revenue and earnings mainly of the export oriented industries where the input cost is mostly local currency based.
The expected exchange rate devaluation is however certainly to attract investors into polarization as investing to dollar would naturally be more lucrative and quick returning in nature as compared to the investments into equities, National Saving Schemes, real estate, and the premium earner gold.
It may be mentioned that 28 percent rupee devaluation during the financial year 2008-9 provided a cushion to the earnings of the textile sector. However on the back of declining demand and global recession the overall textile exports during 11 months of the last financial year were down by 9.5 percent year on year basis to $8.72 billion
According to details, textile exports during 11 month till May 2009 depicted a 15% and 3% YoY lower volume and prices respectively. The average export volume for the textile sector is down 6% while prices are 5% lower YoY.
It may be noted that the weakest link in the textile equation has been yarn where export volumes down 7% YoY as well as price declined by 10% YoY. As far as bed wear export was concerned it also suffered a decline in volume of 4% while a cut of 7 percent in value terms. Though the segment of fabric was stable in terms of value yet volume of export also suffered a 4% price decline.
It may be noted that on the back of tough export scenario, the government has reversed its proposal to withdraw export tax incentives of tax paid at 1% of net sales vs. 35% of income which looks a notional positive for the textile sector.
The stiff competition from Asian peers is likely to pose challenges for textile exporters over the next 12-months despite signs of global growth recovery and direct support to textile exporters via trade agreements, duty free access, and government budgetary support, sources in textile circles said.