KARACHI -  Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that more than 30 development schemes are going on in the city therefore city witnesses traffic jams during peak hours.

“I am well aware of the problems of the people, but I need your support for completion of these projects. It is our collective duty to make this city developed, neat and clean,” he said during a briefing, which he was given during his surprise and without-protocol visits to the city on Sunday morning. He was accompanied by Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro. Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar and Transport Minister Nasir Shah joined him later at the Northern Bypass.

The chief minister specially visited Lyari Expressway where he was given a detailed briefing by Deputy Commissioner for West Asif Jamil Shaikh. The chief minister was informed that areas along Lyari Expressway included Muslimabad, Hassan Oleya, Silai Para and Multani Para. In these areas there were 1,406 units – 311 leased units and 1,095 unleased units – and they needed to be removed for completion of the project.

The deputy commissioner told the chief minister that on the right of way of Lyari Expressway there were illegal encroachments on 640 metres. An anti-encroachment drive has been started to remove these encroachments, he said. Apart from that there are some encroachments over 435 metres at Maghopir Interchange and a campaign will be launched within next two weeks to remove these encroachments, he said.

The chief minister directed Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro to move a summary for appointment of a project director to the Lyari Expressway Rehabilitation Project (LERP) so that necessary compensation could be paid to residents before removal of their properties from the way of the project. “I want you to get it done on top priority basis and hold a meeting with FWO authorities so that it can be completed as soon as possible,” he said. Completion of Lyari Expressway will reduce heavy vehicles’ pressure on the city roads, he said.

The chief minister started his visit from Tariq Road, which is under construction. The work was in progress but he directed Project Director Niaz Soomro to expedite it. “This is an important commercial centre of the city and it must be built on a war footing,” he said.

He also visited Shahrah-e-Faisal widening and reconstruction project and inspected removal of a portion of Flyover at Baloch Colony. The chief minister was informed that a major portion of Shahrah-e-Faisal had been prepared for reconstruction. On this, the chief minister directed the concerned officers to make necessary arrangements to do work on Shahrah-e-Faisal at night.

The chief minister then went to University Road and saw progress of work there. He expressed his displeasure at slow pace of work on the road from Karachi University to Safoora Chowrangi. The contractor informed the chief minister that K-Electric was not removing its electric poles therefore the entire alignment work and construction of drains on shoulders of the road had been delayed. The chief minister directed the minister for local government to talk to K-Electric. He said, “I will personally talk to them on Monday. This work must be geared up from Tuesday. People of the area are facing problems; take pity on them and get this work done before schedule,” he said. He directed the project director to keep him informed about progress on the project on a daily basis.

From Safoora Chowarngi, the chief minister went to Northern Bypass via Malir Cantonment and Super Highway. On the way, he went to Surjani Town from where a road up to Madinatual Hikmat was being constructed. This project has a length of 9.8 kilometres and has been launched at the cost of Rs840.403 million. It will be completed within six months, by June 2017. It is a three-lane (two-way) road and has a 6.8 metre wide sewerage drain. The chief minister expressed his displeasure at the slow pace of work and said there was Hamdard University near here and students/children were suffering apart from residents of the surrounding areas. “I will again visit this road and I want to see a commendable progress during my next visit,” he said.

Syed Murad Ali Shah picked up Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar and Transport Minister Syed Nasir Shah from Laki Stop at Northern Bypass and went to Hub River Road (Balance Portion) from Sher Shah to Murshid Hospital. He was informed that the project had a length of 5.7 kilometres and it would be completed at a cost of Rs658.285 million. It is a six-lane road and every lane is 3.65-metre wide. It will be completed by June 2017. On this, the chief minister directed the officials to complete the project by the first week of May.

Later, the chief minister drove through Sher Shah, Gulbai and Lyari Expressway. He took a turn to Gharibabad Intersection and went to visit Rapid Bus Transport (RBT) Orange Line project. In the Orangi area, the chief minister, the local government minister and the Karachi mayor were briefed by Transport Minister Syed Nasir Shah about progress on the project.

Syed Nasir Shah said the project had been started from Orangi Town to Bacha Khan Flyover at Banaras at the cost of Rs643.35 million. It will have an elevated portion of 602.86 metres and an abutment section of 164.42 metres. It will have two bus stations; one on the ground and an elevated one. He said that 25 percent of work on the project had been completed. On this, the chief minister expressed his dismay and said that 75 percent on this project should have been completed by now as per the agreement.

He directed Syed Nasir Shah to keep monitoring the progress on this project otherwise it would not be completed in time. The chief minister, on the conclusion of his extensive visit, urged both local government and transport ministers and the city mayor to keep visiting the ongoing projects so that they could be completed in time.