KARACHI - The Sindh government has released the notification of its implementation committee while making progress on Karachi transformation package on Wednesday.

According to the notification, the implementation committee will be headed by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. Sindh chief secretary and representatives of V Corps of Pakistan Army will also be the part of the committee. The government also included the term of references (ToRs) of the provincial committee in the notification.

Moreover, other members in the implementation committee will include administrator and commissioner of Karachi, representatives of the federal government and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).  The committee will review the progress of the projects included in the Karachi transformation package announced by the federal government. Sharing details of funds to be spent on Karachi uplift projects under the Karachi Transformation Plan, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar had said on September 7 that Rs46 billion have been allocated for Greater Karachi Water Supply scheme.

The planning minister had said that Rs300 billion have been allocated for Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), while Rs5 billion have been set aside for Green Line BRT project under the Rs1.1trillion Karachi package announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The government has allocated Rs131 billion for Railways front corridor project, whereas Rs254 billion stormwater drains clearance projects would be completed under the Karachi Transformation Plan, said Umar.

Asad Umar had said that the Sindh government expressed the desire to complete the KCR project, but it would be completed by Centre as Railways department constitutionally comes under federal govt.

“The estimated cost of the KCR project is Rs300 billion and it would be completed by the federal government,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday had announced ‘historic’ Rs1100 billion financial package for the execution of a transformation plan meant to address the city’s issues and developmental requirements.

KMC to start anti-encroachment drive

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has again scheduled an anti-encroachment operation to demolish illegally constructed bungalows on amenity land of Hill Park, Kohsar. It sent final notices to the residents of these bungalows on September 14.

KMC had previously scheduled an operation in February, 2020 after orders by the Supreme Court, but it was later postponed on the instructions of then Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani.

The then Karachi commissioner had asked KMC not to initiate the demolition as the matter “needed more working”. He had asked the authorities concerned to work more over the legality of other bungalows constructed around Hill Park.

The former commissioner believed the number of illegal bungalows constructed around Hill Park was more than four, KMC Anti-encroachment Department Senior Director Bashir Siddqui had said.

Siddiqui said that there are around 150 bungalows of different categories around Hill Park.

The KMC administration had already served eviction notices to the residents of four of these bungalows with a deadline of February 27. After the survey, it was found that the total number of illegal bungalows is five. They are constructed on the slope of Hill Park. Siddiqui confirmed to SAMAA Digital they have served final notices to the residents. He said the operation is scheduled for September 22.

KMC has a proper plan, says Siddqui.

The five bungalows are constructed over 0.89 acres of Hill Park’s land. The bungalow numbers are 38/G/1, 38/G/1-A, 38/G/1-B, 38/G/1-C. These bungalows are constructed on 0.41 acres of amenity land, while Plot No 39-G is constructed on 0.38 acres and Raval Masjid on 0.10 acres.

KMC has already written letters to the East SSP, Pakistan Rangers and anti-encroachment force to provide security to the KMC staff during the anti-encroachment operation.

He said the KMC has also asked the K-Electric, Sui Southern Gas Company and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board to disconnect utility connections of these bungalows before September 22.

Siddiqui said Hill Park land is for the public. He clarified that the residents will be responsible for any loss, if they do not vacate the bungalows within seven days.   

Pakistan Employees Cooperative Housing Society Executive Engineer Muhammad Nasir confirmed to SAMAA Digital that the “38 mark” housing stretch is “illegal” as it falls under Hill Park Kohsar land.

He says the five bungalows are present in the PECHS part-plan (creation of plots), but not present in the final layout plan of the society.

Nasir said this part-plan was approved in the mid 70s and the residential units were constructed by carving out the hills of Hill Park, Kohsar land.