Chinese authorities have in principle approved inclusion in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) of three development projects in Sindh including the Karachi Circular Railways, Keti Bandar and Special Economic Zones, Sindh CM House said Thursday.
The decision was taken in the 6th Pakistan-China Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting regarding CPEC held in Beijing which Sindh Chief Minister Murad Shah attended along with his provincial cabinet members.
The Pakistani delegation led by Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal also included chief ministers of Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The vice chairman of National Development and Reforms headed the Chinese delegation.
After a presentation by the Sindh chief minister, the JCC decided to include the projects and asked the Sindh government to present a feasibility report within next three months.
Murad Shah directed the Transport Minister Syed Nasir Shah to expedite work on the feasibility of the projects within the stipulated time.
It was expected that the Chinese government would announce financing of $1 billion for the completion of the three projects under the CPEC. The amount was to be spent on the construction of three additional routes related to the western route of the CPEC, according to officials.
Murad makes his case
Sindh CM Murad Shah made a case for Karachi Circular Railways at the meeting, saying that the provincial capital is one of the most populated cities in the world, with an estimated population of around 25.1 million people in 2016 a number greater than Tokyo, Guangzhou, Seoul, Delhi, Mumbai, Mexico City, New York, Sao Paulo, Manila and Jakarta.
The population of the city would touch 34.3m 2030, he said. “Therefore, there are ample returns of the investment if made in the city.”
Shah briefed the meeting on details of transportation facilities available in Karachi, saying that there are 3.9m registered vehicles in the city, and some 24m trips generated daily.
About 42 per cent are catered to by public transport sector which employs about 4.5pc of registered vehicles. Some 6,457 buses of various sizes run on 192 routes, he said. Additionally, there are about 2,715 contract carriages such as buses and coaches.
Some 85pc or 5,400 buses are more than two years old, which means fuel consumption is high and services are poor, he said, adding that 4.5pc of total public vehicles (public transport) carry 42pc of passengers, whereas 36.5pc of vehicles (private) carry only 21pc of commuters.
courtesy : dawn news