Karachi: Roads play important role in communication system, development process and promotion of economic activities of the nation; while the present government has efforted and chalked out a plan to not only improve the existing road net-work of the province but also provide big roads under Sindh Road network Master Plan.
This was stated by Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah while presiding over a high-level meeting regarding provision and construction of roads in Sindh province, held today at C.M House. He said that the government will encourage the provincial department to prepare, construct and finalize road schemes under approved policy with standards and quality, while it has been envisaged to attract intending investors to come ahead and participate in development works with prompt investment.
Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that the provincial government, after heavy rains, has initiated construction work of damaged roads, so as to provide basic infrastructure facility to common men. Former Advisor to C.M Sindh Mr. Kaiser Bengali in his detailed presentation on Development of Regional Hubs and Highways connectivity said that we need to create a system of cities around growth node, as it is not possible to create another mega-city, keeping in view the structure and nature of the economy of Sindh. He suggested identifying three growth nodes (Regional Hubs) which are Northern Sindh (Sukkur), Central Sindh (Nawabshah and Dadu) and Southern Sindh (Hyderabad).
He added that cities and Towns surrounding these growth nodes (radius of 75 km) be treated as part of the regional hubs. Mr. Kaiser Bengali further said that high speed road connectivity between these cities and towns, and between the regional hubs in key to development. He also proposed eight (8) highways, which are (1) Ghotki-Kandhkot-Thul-Jacobabad-Ratodero-Larkana-Khairpur-200 kms, (2) Khairpur-KotDiji-Kot Lalu-Nawabshah – 155 kms, (3) Dadu-Moro-Jamal Shah-Kazi Ahmed-Nawabshah-Sanghar-Mirpurkhas-Badin – 325 kms, (4) Sakrand-Nawabshah – 60 kms, (5) Shahpur Chakar-Shahdadpur-Tando Adam-Tando Allahyar – 85 kms, (6) Hyderabad-Tando Muhammad Khan-Badin – 100 kms, (7) Hyderabad-Tando Allahyar-Mirpurkhas – 60 kms, and (8) Karachi-Thatta-Badin-Mithi-Islamkot – 300 kms. Mr. Kaiser Bengali added that the traffic on many of the roads is not heavy, that is due to poor condition of the roads, which has filed to provide necessary connectivity between different parts of the province, particularly with Karachi.
He added that the development of roads cannot await the growth of traffic, while improved connectivity will open up access for agricultural produce to markets beyond the immediate and accrue better prices to farmers. Besides, the connectivity between cities, particularly with Karachi, will enable industrial growth in cities other than Karachi and Karachi, Mr. Bengali said. He further said that the Hyderaqbad-Mirpurkhas dual-carriageway will reduce commuting time to about half an hour and this connectivity will provide synergy which can be seen in this growth of the area. Mr. Bengali said that the carriageway was the reflection of high vision which was shown by Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who has the courage to break out the conventional mold and create a new path for the country, as such under this vision, it is needed to take Sindh out of the 19th Century into the 21st Century.
He said that the Sindh province spends billions of rupees every year for an endless cycle of repair and rehabilitation of roads in Sindh, and we have spent Rs.104 billion (in 2011-12 price) over the last 10 years on repair and rehabilitation of roads, for which no feasibilities were carried out. He further said that the state of roads in Sindh is in a sad condition and suggested that about Rs.100 billion be spent in next 10-years on high quality roads through PPP mode, and Sindh’s budget for repair and rehabilitation of roads will be reduced to a fraction over the next 30 years. Sindh Finance Minister, Chief Secretary Sindh, ACS(P and D), Secretary Works and Services, and Secretary Finance Sindh expressed their views and supported the proposed Master Plan.
It was informed that at present 580 schemes are under implementation at the cost of Rs.85 billion, and the cost per one kilometre is Rs: 70 Lac. Chief Minister Sindh accepted the concept and decided to form a 9-member Board to develop the concept with concrete proposals within two to three weeks. The board will comprise of Sindh Finance Minister, Mr. Qaiser Bengali, ACS (P and D) Secretary Works and Services, Secretary Finance and others.
He directed to finalise priorities for the plan, and said that Hyderabad – Mirpurkhas carriageway will be completed upto April 2012. Syed Qaim Ali Shah informed that N-5 Project pertaining to road from Karachi to Hyderabad via Thatta National Highway has been approved by Federal Government. He directed the officers that there is need of improvement.
The meeting was attended among others by Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Mr. Qaisar Bengali, Chief Secretary Sindh Raja Muhammad Abbas, Additional Chief Secretary (P and D) Mr. Israr Malik, Secretary Works and Services Mr. Arif Khan, Principal Secretary to C.M Sindh Mr. Alammuddin Bullo, Secretary Finance Sindh Mr. Kamran Naveed Baloch, Project Director PPP projects Mr. Khalid and others.
For more information, contact:
Mr. Allah Bachayo Memon
Chief Minister House
Tel: +9221 99202019
Cell: +92300-3524057 (Ext: 336)