President Zardari reviews progress on Zulfiqarabad
Islamabad: During a series of meetings held at Aiwan-e-Sadr today regarding various developmental projects in Sindh, the President was informed that the bid documents were opened last month for short listing firms for the issuance of Request for Proposal (RFP) containing conceptual master plan of the new proposed city of Zulfiqarabad in Sindh. The process of submitting Conceptual Master Plan supported by its feasibility study would be completed by 12th December 2011, it was informed.
In another meeting on high-rise buildings to save land the President directed to rationalize and harmonize the procedure for granting permission for high-rise buildings in Karachi and other areas. He directed that relevant departments must work together and devise a simplified procedure that dispensed with vast discretionary powers and cut on delays and that a report be submitted in this regard within 15 days.
Briefing the media about today’s meetings, Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar said that three meetings on various issues concerning Sindh province were held today that were chaired by the President and were attended among other by Governor Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ibad, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, CM Sindh and the concerned officials.
He said that during meeting on Zulfiqarabad city project, Vice Chairman of Zulfiqarabad Development Authority Lt Gen ® Iftikhar Hussain Shah briefing the President informed that the land at four coastal Talukas of District Thatta that include Keti Banderm Kharo Chhan, Shah Bunder and Jatti, has been identified for the proposed city.
The meeting was informed that efforts were underway to bring all the department in conformity that have developmental schemes in the proposed Zulfiqarabad city.
The President was informed that Zulfiqarabad Development Authority was closely in liaison with Forest Department and Coastal Development Authority for their projects of plantation of mangroves in the proposed area and implementation of US $40 million loan in eight Talukas of District Thatta/Badin which also include four Talukas of Zulfiqarabad City.
The President asked the consultants to be bold and creative in their planning so that the new city also met the challenges of the future. He said that we need to develop safe, modern and an environment friendly coastal city having world class communication and transportation system, state of the art educational facilities and recreational venues over the beachfront.
He said that Zulfiqarabad be developed in accordance with the most modern and latest concepts of city planning. He said that like any other cities in the advanced world, the city of Zulfiqarabad be developed in such a way that it becomes a self sustaining city with special industrial zones that meet the economic requirements of a developed city.
The President recalled his meetings with Chinese, Japanese and Turkish authorities during his recent visits where they had expressed interest in exploring investment opportunities in various developmental projects of the proposed city. The President recalled that he had offered Turkish companies’ participation in reclamation of 2.5 million acres of land now under sea on the basis of public-private partnership in which the Turkish companies will be allowed to set up economic ventures of their own on part of the reclaimed land. The President said that efforts needs to be geared up for attracting foreign investments and participation in various vital projects. He said that efforts to reclaim land gobbled up by sea in this areas by must be accorded priority
Discussing other developmental projects and various facilities in the proposed city, the President suggested that the traffic system in the new city may be devised in such a way to make it virtually a signal free city.
Mr. Babar said that during another meeting on high-rise buildings in Sindh, especially in over saturated cities such as Karachi, the President said that there was virtually no scope of further horizontal expansion. However, he said, there were great opportunities available for vertical expansion in order to cater to the needs of increasing population in these cities.
The President said that keeping in view the existing circumstances, it was essential to rationalize and harmonise the procedure for giving permission for high-rise buildings in major cities. He said that the high rise buildings were the only available option to meet growing needs of accommodation.
In this regard, the President also inquired about progress on his earlier directive to provide residential accommodation for the Police personnel of Karachi and asked IGP Sindh to step up progress in this regard.
Mr. Babar said that while discussing the high rise buildings, the President said that thought also be given to having uniform building control laws. The quest for security and land utilization in the cantonments also came under discussion upon which the President said that it was a separate issue which could be taken up separately in another meeting.
Those who attended the meeting included Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General, Chief of Air Staff ACM Rao Qamar Suleman, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam and other high ranking officials of the concerned departments and ministries.
In another meeting on providing safe drinking water, the President advised the Government to ensure availability of safe drinking water to the people in Sindh, especially in the far flung areas by judicious use and distribution of water from the reservoirs, on one hand, and by preserving the existing water resources, on the other.
He said that due to shortage of availability of river waters and loss of groundwater and water table depression, there was an urgent need to focus on this issue so as to ensure availability of safe drinking water to the people, on one hand, and to address issues concerning public health and safety, on the other.
The President said that water being the most precious commodity needs to be consumed judiciously and a mass awareness campaigns be launched in this regard to educate the people. The President said that desalination plants be set up in coastal cities to meet growing needs for drinking water.
He said that proper management in dumping of the industrial and urban waste was equally essential as to check deterioration of quality of the available water resources. Use of agrochemicals that limit fresh water resources is another area that needs to be focused, he said.
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