‘2,159 mega projects completed in four years’
As he waited for a Sindh government notification about the dissolution of the local governments, City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal recounted the infrastructure development works completed over the past four years of his government and wished that the base he had prepared for the multidimensional development of city was fortified and Karachi made the best city of the world.
Speaking at a gathering of town nazims with the media persons to mark the end of their 52-month-long tenure at the helm of municipal affairs, at a local hotel, Kamal said that 2,159 mega projects, each worth Rs30 million to multiple billions, were completed. Besides, 337 big machines and logistics meant for various amenity works were also purchased.
Referring to the time available with his government to conceive and implement the big projects, he said: “I am indeed pleased to tell you that we completed the projects across the city for the benefit of every citizen of Karachi at an average of 48 projects a month.” He said that since the beginning of his government he had a vision to improve the quality of life of citizens irrespective of their political affiliations and ethnicity and worked for it in coordination with nazims and administrative forces of all the 18 towns of the city. “Now I deem it appropriate to extend my gratitude to my party leaders, Governor Ishratul Ibad Khan, President Asif Ali Zardari, former president Pervez Musharraf, the city council and the media, who kept guiding and supporting me and my teams in the city government and town administrations,” he remarked.
He said that not only the master plan of the city was prepared and given a legal status for the first time in the history of the city during his tenure, but his government also completed 35 flyovers and underpasses, 356 parks, 194 water and sanitation projects, 316 major and supplementary roads, 451 educational projects. As many as 110 projects were completed in rural areas, he said, adding that in the transport infrastructure 255 bus stops and 116 pedestrian bridges and a big car parking plaza were completed.
He said the city government also brought 75 CNG buses on the roads and also came up with the idea of establishing a Karachi Development Fund, which would get further impetus in the future.
Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil, nazims of 14 towns, DCO Javed Hanif, KWSB MD Qutubuddin Shaikh and other senior officers of the city government and water board were present.
Though Kamal did not take into account a few mega projects and schemes conceived in the first two years of his government, including that of an integrated solid waste management scheme, which could not be implemented, he said his government had recently taken up the solid waste management issue afresh and decided to build at least five garbage transport stations on a self-help basis.
The nazim said that with the completion of so many projects, “we have also planned a lot of projects for future, including K-IV meant for additional 175 million gallon daily water supply to the city, a sewage treatment plant, the Karachi mass transit project and circular railway project to provide more facilities to the citizens. Moreover, the establishment of two desalination plants was also on the card, he told the gathering.
He said construction work on the fourth signal-free corridor had been started. The whole corridor from the PIDC intersection to the airport would be made signal-free by January/ February 2011, he said, adding that the signal-free corridor V would run from Sohrab Goth to M.A. Jinnah Road.
He said the government had also planned to switch to mechanised sweeping of roads and streets in the entire city as it was already being practised in big cities. Since the number of sweepers was on the decline as members of that community were increasingly entering other professions, “now we would have to adopt machines for cleaning purposes”. Syed Mustafa Kamal said that although “we tried to serve each citizen in the city efficiently, there remain chances of heartburning or wrongdoing and now “very earnestly I submit my apology for that”, the emotionally-charged nazim said. He urged the citizens not to allow any deterioration in the process of development, ensure a hurdle-free journey of development and maintain the infrastructure developed in the city so far.
(By Mukhtar Alam, Dawn, 18/02/2010)