ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said Monday that the recent rains — that killed scores and dealt heavy damage to Karachi’s infrastructure — had exposed the Sindh government.
Addressing a press conference, he said: “We did not want to give the funds directly to the Sindh government [for Karachi’s development], because honestly, we don’t trust them.”
“The provincial government had taken billions of rupees for development, however, it has been exposed during the recent rains,” added Faraz.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Centre, Sindh government, and the armed forces are part of the Rs1,100bn plan to ensure its implementation and completion on time, he said.
Centre to allocate Rs611bn for Karachi plan: Umar
Clearing up the ‘confusion’, Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said that the federal government will allocate Rs611bilion in the Rs1.1tln Karachi Transformation Plan.
In a statement, the planning minister said that the city’s development projects will take place under the Karachi Transformation Plan.
Umar’s clarification came on the heels of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s statement on Sunday during a rally in which he said that Sindh government was contributing Rs800bn for the Karachi package whereas the Centre was only allocating Rs300bn.
Providing a breakdown of the development plan, Umar said that the greater Karachi water supply — KIV scheme — will cost around Rs46billion whereas Rs300bn will be allocated for the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project.
He said that Rs131 billion have been allocated for the railway freight corridor while the government will also allocate Rs5billion for the Green line project.
Referring to people displaced by the clearing of encroachments on nullahs, the minister said that the government had allocated Rs254 bn to provide them compensation.
The cost of all these projects will amount to an estimated Rs736billion and the federal government will release Rs611billion from it, he said.
“The Sindh government has expressed its wish to take over the KCR project,” he said, adding that constitutionally, railways was the jurisdiction of the federal government.
The minister noted that the Supreme Court had also directed the federal government to start work on some projects and that it was the Centre’s responsibility to kickstart the KCR project.
“The federal government is considering working with the Sindh government for the development of Karachi,” Umar said, adding that the reason for announcing the package was to provide relief to the people of Karachi, not indulge in “point-scoring”.
“The reason for this justification was to keep certain misunderstandings [regarding the plan] at bay,” he added.
PM Imran unveils Rs1,100bn development plan
On Saturday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had unveiled a massive Rs1,100bn, three-year development plan for the city.
Addressing a news conference at the Governor House, the prime minister had said that the ‘historic’ Rs1,100bn Karachi development package will cater to the city’s diverse problems ranging from water supply to transport and solid waste management.
“We have been put to another test,” he had said, referring to the problems posed by the recent rains right after the government fought to contain the coronavirus pandemic and reported a decline in infections.
PM Imran had said that another major problem was that of encroachments and for which the NDMA has already started work to clear them.
Speaking of the city’s sewerage and solid waste disposal problems, PM Imran had said that the transformation plan will effectively address both issues.
Stressing on reforming the transport system in Karachi, he had said that the Karachi Circular Railway, the Bus Rapid Transit, and other lines are included in the plan.