Prime Minister Imran Khan directs officials concerned to ensure timely completion of plan to redress Sindh capital’s problems
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday was informed that the federal government’s Karachi Transformation Plan comprised over 100 projects that would cost Rs 1.117 trillion to fully fund.
The high-level meeting—attended by federal ministers Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Asad Umar, Faisal Vawda and Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, as well as Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa—was briefed on the overall progress of the plan. It was informed that the projects had been divided into three phases in term of when they would be completed.
During the meeting, the prime minister directed officials concerned to ensure timely completion of the plan, stressing that it would result in resolving the Sindh capital’s problems on a sustainable basis. Khan lamented that illegal construction and encroachments on, and along, spillways in Karachi was one of the major reasons for the losses suffered during annual flooding in the city. He stressed that all encroachments should be removed, adding that alternative arrangements should be made for people currently residing in such areas.
The prime minister also directed the constitution of a Technical Committee under the Planning Ministry to formulate recommendations to upgrade the capacity and utility of the K-4 project to supply water to Karachi.
In a separate meeting on the Pakistan Islands Development Authority (PIDA) and the Ravi River Urban Development Authority (RUDA), the prime minister was presented with a proposal by Dutch company AWTEC Netherlands, which is seeking to establish water desalination plants and waste-to-energy plants in Karachi with an investment of $1.3 billion.
Attended by Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, the chairmen of both PIDA and RUDA, as well as several senior government officials, the meeting was briefed on the Dutch company’s investment plans for both projects.
During the meeting, AWTEC expressed interest in investing in RUDA, including the establishment of a renewable energy plant in Lahore. Khan told the participants that Pakistan was facing continuous problems due to a lack of appropriate arrangements for garbage processing. He said this had a negative impact on the country’s water resources, particularly its coastal areas.
He said AWTEC’s projects could help the government provide international-standard residential facilities in both Lahore and Karachi.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, AWTEC’s projects would be established on the basis of technology transfer, generating jobs and reducing the cost of power generation. It said that the government had expressed an interest in inking a Memorandum of Understanding with AWTEC in this regard.