(March 13, 2020)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday called for early completion of the infrastructure projects in Karachi. Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan feeding 20 million people and its weak infrastructure and fragile services reflects on the national economy, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said this while speaking at a meeting of Public Utility Committee in which Provincial Minister Local Governments Syed Nasir Hussain Shah was the chief guest.
The former minister noted that provincial government is serving the city and the efforts of the minister are laudable however, there are issues pertaining to law and order, solid waste disposal, sewerage, public transport, traffic system, electricity. Health, education, and provision of drinking water to masses and industry in the province of Sindh. The provincial government is doing a good job but the pace of work should be expedited so that people of Sindh and those living in the economic hub of Karachi can get relief. He said that different federal and provincial governments and international institutions have funded projects to improve the mega city but the suspension of funds has delayed some projects.
He noted that claims regarding improvement in infrastructure are not materialized as expected. There is no system to disposal of garbage and industrial waste, only nine thousand buses are plying in the city while there is an urgent need for the metro bus system. He said that road carpeting and construction of underpasses, flyovers and bypasses have provided relief to commuters. He called upon stern action to remove settlements and qabza groups.
Mian Zahid Hussain noted that different political parties want to gain control over Karachi which result in friction but problems are not resolved.
He called upon the concerned to stop experiments and move to empower local government so that they can make the city liveable. He said that local bodies should be strengthened, they should be properly funded and merit should be observed so that their bodies can deliver.
The local bodies can also assist federal and provincial governments in anti-polio and dengue eradication campaigns etc. moves against adulteration, profiteering, health and education.
He said that Karachi needs 1200 MGD of water while there is a shortage of 550 MGD of water which can be resolved through completion of K-4 project.
Business community hope that the concerned minister Syed Nasir Hussain shah will try his best to complete K-4 project as soon as possible. He said that projects like people urban forest and sarsabz Sindh will help mitigate the impact of climate change.
Greater sewerage plan is under completion, water can be used after recycling, he said, adding that water should be provided to industrial areas and sewerage system should be modernized so that the economy of Karachi and country can grow.