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Centre will heal Karachi’s wounds: Planning Minister

Asad Umar was addressing a press conference alongside Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi in Karachi. Source: PID.

KARACHI: Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has strongly criticized Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for “doing nothing for the people of Karachi, saying that the federal government would heal Karachi’s wounds.

Umar’s remarks came during a press conference alongside Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi in Karachi on Saturday. He also said that the previous governments had not given any major plans for Karachi.

“The PPP has ruled over Karachi and the province for 13 years, yet the city is not desperate and there are issues with waste disposal as well,” he said, reiterating that Prime Minister Imran Khan was fully aware of the problems the metropolis was facing.  

“The federal government would heal Karachi’s wounds. Work is underway on five major federal projects in the city,” Umar announced.

“The Green Line project is a modern transport project. Several of its phases have been completed whereas 80 buses are being bought for it. Some buses will arrive on September 12 while another 40 buses will reach Karachi by next week,” he added.

About garbage collection and disposal, the federal minister said around 1.1 million tons of garbage would be removed from the drains of the city. “Sidewalks, underpasses and overhead bridges are being constructed on these drains,” he said, adding, “About 15ft wide roads will also be constructed along these drains.”

He added that the situation for draining rainwater is now much better and around 90pc of the drains have been cleaned. “The recent rains have not caused any problems due to the storm drains being cleaned earlier,” he added.

Asad Umar said the third project by the federation was of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR). “Chief Justice of Pakistan helped us with the circular railway project. The project is from Karachi to Pipri and will cost Rs70 billion,” he added.

The planning minister further said that the KCR would service 22 stations and the entire project will be run by the private sector. Umar revealed that the premier would visit the port city before September 30 and inaugurate the KCR infrastructure.

Referring to Karachi’s water woes, he said the K-4 scheme has been delayed for the last decade, but work on four projects will resume in five months. “We are trying to complete four projects by August 14, 2023. The Sindh government is responsible for water supply,” he said.