Update (June 18, 2021): The provincial budget of Sindh for the fiscal year 2021-22 was announced on June 14, 2021. Chief Minister of Sindh Murad Ali Shah presented it in the Provincial Assembly. In order to expedite development activities, billions of rupees have been set aside to finance mega projects in Karachi and other parts of Sindh. Here are some of the key highlights in this regard.
- Karachi’s electric buses project will get total funding of PKR 6.5 billion for the procurement of new buses in the upcoming fiscal year.
- A total budget of PKR 6.47 billion has been allocated for the Sindh Intra-District Peoples’ Bus Services Project.
- The newly-announced provincial budget also contains an allocation of PKR PKR 2 billion for the development of infrastructure projects facilitating the route of the Karachi Circular Railway. Underpasses and overhead bridges will be constructed at railway crossings.
- A total sum of PKR 109.36 billion has been earmarked for other transportation and infrastructure development projects in the city.
UPDATE: (Jan.22, 2021): In a meeting chaired by Minister for Finance and Revenue Hafeez Shaikh, at least nine infrastructure and development projects were approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC).
An estimated budget of Rs. 25.5 billion was approved. Also, Phase-1 of K-IV was presented before the ECNEC. The project that aims to provide 260 million gallons per day to residents of Karachi is expected to be completed in four years.
In addition, a ‘solid waste emergency and efficiency project’ was approved at Rs. 16.8 billion, which is expected to be sponsored by the housing and town planning department of Sindh. This will include a loan of Rs. 16 billion from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development IBRD and World Bank. This particular project is being planned to resolve issues with the solid and liquid waste management system in Karachi that often collapses during the monsoon season.
Other projects, with their estimated/rationalized budgets, which were approved at the meeting include:
1- Construction of Gwadar-Ratodero road project (M-8): Rs. 38 billion
2- International Scholarship Phase-1 for master and PhD programs by the Higher Education Commission (HEC): Rs. 13.3 billion
3- ‘Khyber Pakhtunkhwa human capital investment project’: Rs. 18.9 billion
4- Construction of 100 dams in Balochistan- Package IV (23 dams): Rs. 13.5 billion
5- Phase-II of Pak-China optical fiber cable (OFC) project for the establishment of cross-border OFC network (Khunjerab-Karachi) along China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) routes’: Rs. 37.9 billion
6- COVID-19 response and program to control other natural calamities: Rs. 70 billion
7- ‘Dualisation and improvement of old Bannu road’: Rs. 17.2 billion
Over the past decade, commute has become a real challenge because of the constantly increasing number of vehicles on the roads in Karachi. Rush-hour traffic is the worst.
Every day in this megacity, scores of people travel from one place to another, struggling through traffic jams and packed streets while making use of different means of transportation. In order to make the roads more bearable for Karachiites, the local government has launched several projects. For example, a lot of expressways and main roads in Karachi have been transformed into freeways.
Let’s have a look at the list of some of the most important projects that have helped speed up infrastructure developments in Karachi in recent years.
List of Recently Completed Infrastructure Projects in Karachi
Submarine Chowk Underpass
Punjab Chorangi, also known as Submarine Chowk, had been the most troublesome place for people travelling from DHA to Saddar, and vice versa. However, it took a few years for the authorities to come up with an impactful solution. Thankfully, the work on Submarine Chowk Underpass, which turned out to be an incredibly useful infrastructure developments in Karachi, was completed in 2018.
Since its opening, this route is being conveniently used by a lot of people almost twenty four hours a day. It is because Sunset Boulevard Road, which turns into Khayaban-e-Roomi when moving towards the Clifton side and then into Mai Kolachi Road while going towards M.T. Khan Road, connects the rest of the city with some major port areas. Heavy traffic, such as trailer trucks and oil tankers, is only allowed to pass through this route in the after-hours due to road safety concerns.
Drigh Road Underpass
Shahrah-e-Faisal has always been one of the most important routes in Karachi. It allows the people of this city to get to the Jinnah International Airport, Malir Cantt and other important areas of the city. This is the main reason this expressway has almost been turned into a signal-free corridor. The construction of Drigh Road Underpass was surely a significant development in this concern and ever since it has been completed, it has ensured smooth flow of traffic on Shahrah-e-Faisal.
Tipu Sultan Flyover
Located off Tipu Sultan Road on Shahrah-e-Faisal, Tipu Sultan Flyover was a highly anticipated project by people. Before it was constructed, traffic congestion was a norm at the intersection of Tipu Sultan and Shahrah-e-Faisal. This unfavorable delay was not welcomed by people using this route on a daily basis as it wasted their fuel, energy, and valuable time. However, since this new flyover has been made functional, a lot of people praise it as they travel through it every day because now they can easily get to their respective destinations without getting stuck in unnecessary traffic jams.
New Flyovers Constructed at Three Key Intersections on Sher Shah Suri Road
Starting from Lasbela near Guru Mandir and going all the way to Abdullah Morr in Surjani Town, Sher Shah Suri Road is one of the most important road links connecting many key areas of Karachi. This is why the main track of the Green Line BRT project has also been laid down on this road.
This multi-lane two-way road hosts many important intersections, known as ‘chowrangis’ in Urdu, and entry/exit points. Sakhi Hassan Chowrangi, Five Star Chowrangi, and KDA Chowrangi are the most famous crossroads located on this route.
Multiple flyovers have also been recently constructed on Sher Shah Suri Road, specifically at these three major intersections, converting it into a 15-km signal-free corridor and allowing traffic to flow smoothly.
Under-construction Infrastructure and Transportation Projects
Green Line BRT Project
Envisioned to cater to hundreds of thousands of commuters in Karachi on a daily basis. Green Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is truly a mega project. Starting from Surjani and going all the way to Karachi’s City Station, it spans a 26 km long busway having stations in different areas of the city.
At many different points, the route of Green Line also intersects with other proposed metro bus lines in Karachi. Work on the Orange Line and Red Line has already begun. All these lines are a part of the Trans Karachi Breeze Project, which upon completion will become the largest metro bus network in Pakistan.
As shown in the picture above, the projected route of Green Line BRT passes through many major roads and expressways in the city. If you want to learn more about the Green Line Metrobus in Karachi, read this blog.
Malir Expressway is a 39.3-km-long signal-free corridor, which has also been planned for the City of Lights. Like Lyari Expressway, this upcoming project is also going to play a key role in reducing traffic congestion in the city.
This four-lane dualised expressway will start from KPT Interchange near Qayyumabad and end at Karachi-Hyderabad (M-9) motorway. It is an infrastructure project proposed by the provincial government and is being developed under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
Once completed, the project will seamlessly connect the northern parts of the megalopolis with its south. As of now, no completion date has been finalised for this mega-scale project. Since it is a developing project, we’ll keep updating this blog, so make sure to keep checking back for the latest updates on Malir Expressway.
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