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Cantt boards, KPT, DHA holding up master plan

While the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) has prepared 75 percent of the Karachi Master Plan 2020, it has been waiting for input from the other authorities and stakeholders in the city without which the task will not be completed, Daily Times has learnt.

On September 21, nearly a month and a half ago, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Akram Shaikh presided over a meeting at Governor House in which the progress on the master plan was reviewed. For example, all the data collection work has been completed.

The deputy chairman then directed that a report on the plan be presented to representatives of all other city stakeholders to seek their comments, suggestions, proposals and plans. These stakeholders are the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Defence Housing Authority (DHA), the six cantonment boards and the Pakistan Railways among others. The aim of this exercise was to incorporate the areas controlled by these stakeholders and authorities in the master plan as the CDGK controls only about 30 percent of the city.

Concerns had been raised that a master plan that only catered to one-third of the city did not make sense. However, sources said that about six weeks have passed and these authorities have yet to provide their input without which the master plan cannot be completed even though it is in its final stages.

Sources added that the competent authorities in Islamabad had also decided that a uniform policy would be adopted for the development of the entire city of Karachi and the CDGK would be the command authority. However, land control would remain in the hands of the respective stakeholders.

A decision to this effect is expected to be announced in December. When Daily Times contacted EDO Master Plan Iftikhar Qaimkhani he confirmed that more than five weeks have passed since the report on the master plan was sent out for comments and suggestions but the CDGK had yet to hear from the other stakeholders.

Qaimkhani added that the master plan focused on the planning of housing, roads and transport, infrastructure (water/sewerage, solid waste management, energy), economic prospects, industry, commerce, health, education, environment, recreation and social services.

The rest of the city is controlled by 13 other institutions aside from the CDGK. Sources in the CDGK”s Master Plan department confirmed that 75 percent of the document was completed and it would be sent to the competent authorities in December for a review and final approval.

Previously, five master plans had been prepared for Karachi but not a single one has been implemented completely. In 1923, a report on development on Karachi was prepared by A.E. Mirams, a consulting town planner and surveyor. In 1945, a Karachi physical plan was prepared by British surveyor Lt. Col Swaine Thomas. The Merz Rendal Vatten plans were initiated in 1949 and completed in 1952 by a Swedish firm of consulting engineers. In 1974, the Karachi Development Plan 1974-1985 was formulated by the KDA with financial and technical assistance of the UNDP.

Source: Daily Times

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