Karachi (Staff Reporter): Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that 18th amendment has trickled down financial powers to the provinces that’s why Sindh Revenue Board has become a strong tax collecting organisation.
This he said on Friday while inaugurating Peoples Square and underground car parking here at Saddar Downtown area. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was accompanied by him. Provincial Ministers, Saeed Ghani, Syed Nasir Shah, Minister Energy Imtiaz Shaikh, Minister Irrigation Sohail Anwar Siyal, Advisor Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, provincial secretaries also attended the inauguration. The World Bank Group Country Director Mr. Najy Benhassine and representatives from Islamabad and Washington DC participated through online connectivity to attend the Ceremony.
Mr Chairman said that the SRB has achieved it recovery target but FBR failed to meet its target, as a result provincial governments, including Sindh suffered huge revenue shortfalls in their agreed share.
Mr Bilawal said that karachi was the city where killing of innocent people was the order of the day. “International mafias were involved and the local thugs supported them,” he said and added the then dictator instead of taking action against them decided to negotiate with terrorists.
He said when PPP came into power in Sindh it started operation against criminals and terrorists and restored peace in the city.
Chairman PPP vowed his party government would be resolving issues of Karachi and its people. “Imran Khan completely failed to fulfil all his promises but the Sindh government would be serving people of this city,” he vowed.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari would to construct such Peoples Squares in every district of the province.
The Underground Parking and People’s Square in Saddar Downtown Area has been constructed under Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project (KNIP).
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah speaking on the occasion said that this was the first neighbourhood area which we have improved. “We are improving such other 22 areas and make Karachi a beautiful city.
Mr Shah said that $10 billion were required to restore entire infrastructure of the city, including sewerage system, storm water drains, parks etc which the provincial as well as federal government could not arrange that was why World Bank and Asian Bank have been approached to finance them.
Murad Ali Shah said that the local government department has been housed in a office constructed on a Nala. Similarly, parking area of Supreme Court is constructed on a Nala. “This situation has not emerged overnight but this has been aggravating over the years.
Mr Shah said Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project was built upon the on-going initiatives of his government in collaboration with the World Bank Group. He added that the provincial government had launched the three-component Project with a total cost of Rs10.260 billion to transform the city into a more livable, competitive and inclusive megacity.
Mr Shah said that the project has components of enhancing public space and mobility improvements in selected neighborhoods, support to administrative services, city capacity development and implementation and technical assistance.
According to the CM, Saddar Area has a high concentration of Civic, Education, Cultural and Commercial uses and a large number of daily visitors. “Sub-projects in Saddar Area may include upgrading roads and streets, sidewalks, pedestrian crossing within existing rights of way. Upgrading open spaces installing shade features, signs, street furniture, lighting and re-organizing traffic patterns,” he said.
Murad Ali Shah said that KNIP’s intervention in Saddar included creating a Pedestrian Trail which would improve traffic congestion and provide an open space `Piazza’ for the community visiting the Arts Council and students attending Colleges.
One of the sub-projects involves the “Re-development of the Educational and Cultural Zone in Saddar Downtown Area”, which would enhance public spaces and improve mobility on Dr. Ziauddin Road, Deen Muhammad Wafai Road and M.R. Kiyani Road along with the construction of a two-level Underground Parking Piazza providing parking facility to over 350 cars and 250 motor bikes for traffic calming in the busy area of Saddar Downtown. The toplevel Piazza would have food stalls, street lighting and furniture to enrich and increase the beautification of the surrounding area which includes S.M. Arts and Law College, D.J Science, S.M Commerce College, N.E.D University, the cultural hub of The Arts Council of Pakistan and the landmark Burns Garden which forms the Educational and Cultural Zone in Saddar Downtown Area.
Apart from the intervention in Saddar of developing the Educational and Cultural Zone, Mr Shah said that KNIP was undertaking road network improvements in Malir and Korangi Area and have financed Single Window Facility for Automation of Construction Permits in Sindh Building Control Authority to support Sindh Ease of Doing Business. “This initiative has contributed in increasing Pakistan’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index,” he concluded.
73rd Independence Day celebrations
KARACHI (August 14): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the 73rd Indepence Day is being celeberated with simplicy because India atrocities in occupied Kashmire have crossed all limits and the pandemic of COVID-19 claimed valuable lives in the country in general and in Sindh in particular.
Earlier, the chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto unveiled the plaque to inaugurate the Peoples Square and underground Parking.
“In such a seriopus situation, celebartions of August 14 have been kept simple, however we are highlighting both the agonies -the one-year prolonged curfew in the valley of held Kashmir and coronavirus which hit new highs in Sindh.”
This he said while talking to media along with Sindh Governor Imran ismail just after laying florwal wreath on the mazar of father of nation.
Mr Shah said that we were here to pay rich tribute to father of nation, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah who got us independence. “Today we are a free nation – thanks to Quid-i-Azam,” he said.
Replying to a question, Murad Ali Shah said that the country was passing through a very critical phase caused by novel virous, COVID-19. “The Sindh government took timely practical decisions to save the live sof people of Sindh which were followed by other provinces,” he said and added that we have returned to reopened the business activities and Inshallah would recover financial losses. He thanked the people of Sindh who supported him in his decision and today to some extent we have contained the virus but still we have to follow the SOPs.
To another question, the chief minister said that in 2009 Karchi had recived heavy downpour, therefore Shahrah-e-Faisal remained inundated for three days. “This time rain water was drained out within three to four hours because we have reconstructed the roads and nallas,” he said.
Talking about flooding of houses in district Central, the CM said that the DMC scentral was lifting garbage on its own. “Solid Waste Management has not taken up garbage lifting of district Central, therefore trash flew into storm water drains and sewerage system which choked them,” he said and added apart from it the Green Line project has been constructed within the drains, therefore they further aggrevated the situation.
Murad Ali Shah vowed to resolve the issues and said the Sindh government could not plead its case properly in the supre court, therefore the decision came in the shape of handing over the cleanliness of nallas to NDMA. “I am tnankful to NDMA that they are supporting us but it doenst mean that the provincial government has not not done any thing,” he said and added the rain water, except a few areas was disposed of timely.
Earlier, the chief minister and Governor Sindh Imran Ismail laid floral wreath on the mazar of father of nation and offered fateha. The chief minister recorded his impression in the visitors’ book.
The Chief minister and the Governor performed flag hositing ceremony at the Mazar.
COVID-19 situation: The coronavirus claimed six more lives and infected 343, including 182 from Karachi.
The chief minister in his daily situation report has said that 9383 samples were tested which detected 343 new cases constituting four percent current detection rate. Overnight six more patients died lifting the death toll to 2313 that come to 1.8 percent death rate.
Currently, 4294 patients are under treatment, of them 3896 in home isolation, eight at Isolation centers and 390 at different hospitals. The condition of 252 patients is stated to be critical, of them 42 have been shifted to ventilators.