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KPT mulling options for deep-water port connectivity

KPT mulling options for deep-water port connectivity

KARACHI: The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) is considering various options to give connectivity to the upcoming Pakistan Deep Water Container Port (PDWCP), including increase in the capacity of traffic flow by separating city-bound and port traffic, official sources said.

The KPT has undertaken different studies in this regard, including construction of harbour crossing bridge, elevated expressway and Malir Expressway from DHA City to Karachi Port.

All these projects need billions of rupees, for which the KPT is seeking financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica). KPT sources said the port was also trying to get these projects included under the umbrella of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for funding.

The KPT was also reviewing options to construct these projects on a public-private partnership (PPP) or on a built operate and transfer (BOT) basis, the sources added.

Port authorities with knowledge of these developments told Dawn the KPT also wanted these projects to be taken up on a trade-in basis, as had been in the case of Port Tower plan envisaged by former KPT chairman Ahmed Hayat.

Under this plan the Karachi Port entered into an arrangement with a financier of the Port Tower to reclaim 350 acres of port area at Mai Kolachi Road. Of this land, the financer was to be given 320 acres on a 99-year lease to develop a state-of-the-art commercial-cum-residential complex.

Against this, the financier was to develop the Port Tower with a height of 1,947 feet to house all port-related services under one roof, including customs offices, customs agents, banks, clearing and forwarding agents, insurance companies, shipping companies, etc.

However, the port authorities believe that in the medium term elevated port expressway was the most feasible option because of low cost. Moreover, it could be completed in 10 years time if Punjab’s model of work is adopted for early completion of mega projects carried on three daily shifts.

With an estimated cost of Rs45 billion, the elevated expressway would be covering almost all the port areas and terminals for smooth flow of port tariff. The expressway would be covering and giving conduit (pass-way) to oil installation area, coal yard and PDWCP, East Wharf including Pakistan International Container Terminal and Juna Bundar, West Wharf including Karachi International Container Terminal and M.I. Yard.

According to a study, 70 per cent of port traffic is destined for the country’s north via National Highway, Super Highway and RCD Highway. The remaining 30 per cent is city-bound traffic, half of which is re-packed and transported to the north and various parts of Sindh.

The elevated expressway will start from the PDWCP (Keamari) gate and move towards Keamari roundabout and continue moving over M.A. Jinnah road, connecting east and west wharves to ICI and Gul Bai roundabouts from where it will touch directly to Lyari Expressway and then Northern Bypass.

The Karachi Harbour Crossing (KHC), estimated to cost $1 billion (Rs104.7bn), will connect PDWCP with the main arteries of road network, cargo village and industrial park.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was also keen to connect M-9 (Super Highway) through Lyari Expressway with Jam Sadiq Bridge (Korangi), KPT sources said. Through ring-road, two arteries would be connecting Port Qasim and Karachi Port.

Courtesy : Dawn News



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