Pakistan’s commercial hub, Karachi is home to almost more than 16 million people. Over the past decades, it has gone through numerous changes in its demography and development. However, despite efforts and plans, this busy metropolis, which is known for its cool evenings by the beach and a starry night life, has fallen ill to inefficient town planning. However, the incumbent government under the premiership of Imran Khan has now chalked out a mega Karachi Transformation Plan, which will breathe new life into the city. Here’s how.
The Significance Of Karachi Transformation Plan
There has been growing concern for revamping Karachi for a while now. Since almost two decades the city has been plagued by ill town planning. The settlement by migrant workers and refugees has created large slums on encroached property.
Due to ill planning, there is an inequitable level of development, with some areas doing much better than others such as DHA Karachi and Clifton. As property prices in Karachi have remained high, the land mafia has even converted open areas such as storm drains into high-yielding real estate. It comes as no surprise then that during the monsoon season, most of the city gets flooded and several people in all of the about 100 slums die every year.
In this coastal city, you’ll rarely come across a good park that is not situated within the confines of a gated housing society. Moreover, many of the flyovers here have not been properly maintained, nor have the roads been expanded to cater to an influx of cars and other vehicles. While on the other hand, rapid real estate development has led to very few green spaces, which ultimately makes this metropolis an unsustainable city.
Realizing this, the government is all set to introduce a number of reforms. These are aimed at making Karachi a healthy, and sustainable city, able to support its population.
Revamping Karachi Under Transformation Plan
Earlier in December 2020, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet endorsed a PKR 739 billion worth Karachi Transformation Plan. However, Prime Minister Imran Khan got together with major provincial stakeholders and upped the ante to announce a package worth PKR 1.1 trillion.
It is now, exactly a year later, and ahead of the monsoon season that has always laid bare Karachi’s civic problems, that the PM Khan will be inaugurating a couple of the projects, while overseeing development work on others.
Projects Under Karachi Transformation Plan
1. Karachi Port Trust
At the Karachi Port Trust’s Karachi Shipyard, PM Khan inaugurated the Ship Lift and Transfer System at the Karachi Shipyard, which will be able to service 12 ships and handle over 7,400 tonnes of freight. This will be especially beneficial for handling regional trade volume which is expected to exponentially increase as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) enters the second phase.
Moreover, PM Khan has said that the shipyard will use the latest technology to carry out these operations. This latest technology will increase the efficiency of Karachi Port Trust and help the country earn valuable profits through foreign exchange as these services can be leased out to other traders.
In addition to this, the government strongly believes that with better management of ports and an export-led growth, Pakistan will be able to effectively expand its export base, especially for agricultural products and textiles.
2. Green Line Bus Rapid Transit
The Green Line Bus Rapid Transit is the first phase of Karachi Metrobus Network which is currently under construction. This is a 35 kilometer-long bus route from Karachi City Railway Station to Surjani town, and has been under construction since 2016.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umer has said that this project will be operational by October this year.
3. Storm water drains, sewage projects
As Karachi regularly gets flooded in the aftermath of monsoon rains, the government has announced the cleaning and construction of storm water drains, and an integrated sewage system to rid the city of its problems.
On this project, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is also working to ensure fast-completion of these projects, especially as the monsoon season approaches. For this as well, the incumbent government has also announced that all the ongoing projects will be completed by the end of this fiscal year.
4. K-IV Water Supply Project
This is the main water supply project of Karachi that has been under construction for almost two decades. Now the government has given the Water and Planning Development Authority (WAPDA) the main responsibility to oversee the completion of this project.
5. Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) & Freight Corridor
The Karachi Circular Railway and Freight Corridor are the main infrastructural projects that will facilitate the business environment in Karachi. The freight corridor is a 50-kilometer double train track that will transport freight from Karachi Port to Pipri Yard. In late July, Minister Umar revealed that the feasibility studies of these projects have been completed and has now announced that construction will begin later this year.
All of these are promising projects for the redevelopment and rehabilitation of Karachi, which alone contributes more than 70% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This fiscal year is crucial for the revamping of Karachi, and it is expected that some respite will finally come for the city’s citizens.
With each development, we will keep updating our information. Meanwhile, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and also keep checking Pakistan’s largest property blog, Zameen Blog for the latest on Pakistan.