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PM welcomes inclusion of Karachi coastal uplift plan in CPEC

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday lauded the inclusion of Karachi’s coastal development plan in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said the move would bring the city on a par with developed port cities of the world.

Calling the initiative a “game-changer”, the prime minister through his official social media account on Twitter said the coastal development project would clean up marine habitat for fishermen and develop 20,000 low-income housing units, besides presenting opportunities for investors.

The tweet from the prime minister came a day before his planned one-day visit to Karachi on Monday.

During his stay in Karachi, the prime minister would attend a number of meetings at Governor House, besides inaugurating a part of the Karachi Circular Railways (KCR) project.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) had on Friday approved elimination of 22 level crossings for the loop section of KCR to help free movement of trains.

At the meeting, chaired by Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin, Ecnec considered and approved a summary presented by the Planning Commission about construction of infrastructure for elimination of level crossings for KCR’s loop section.

The project, sponsored and executed by the Ministry of Railways, envisages construction of flyovers and underpasses along the KCR route to eliminate 22 level crossings.

The rationalised cost of the project has been estimated at Rs20.7 billion on a cost-sharing basis. The project will facilitate free movement of KCR trains.

“The inclusion of Karachi Comprehensive Coastal Development Zone in CPEC is a game changer. Will cleanup our maritime habitat for fishermen, develop 20k low-income housing units and present opportunities for investors. Will put Karachi at par with developed port cities. Well done@MaritimeGovPk,” the prime minister tweeted.

On Saturday, federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi had unveiled an ambitious plan to rebuild Karachi’s coastline under CPEC with $3.5 billion “direct Chinese investment” that aims to overhaul the city’s seaboard with new berths for the port, a new fishery port and a ‘majestic harbour bridge’ connecting it with Manora islands and Sandspit beach.

The Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone (KCCDZ), spreading over 640 hectares or 1,581 acres on the western backwaters marsh land of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and leading to revamp one of the oldest city slums Machhar Colony and relocating its more than half a million population, is an initiative of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs.

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