Signal-Free Corridor-III

Preedy Street Project facing evacuation problem

* LARP withheld since 1999, unable to control encroachment
* Asia’s largest ‘redevelopment scheme’ in worst condition
* Encroachers under the official patronage continue their task

By Jamil Khan | KARACHI

THE City District Government Karachi has yet to initiate the work on Signal-Free Corridor III, from Saddar Dawakhana to Super Highway as shifting of 1309 families from the Preedy Street in the jurisdiction of Lines Area has not started, Daily Times learnt on Saturday.
The work on this project aimed to utilized the first installment of $800 million funds of Karachi Mega City Development Programme (KMCDP) had to started some two months ago as city government had completed the study. Sources in the city government said that the around 1309 houses lying in the alignment of Preedy Street is one of the major hurdle to kick of the project as the city government has yet to allocate land for the shift these families.
Due to the shifting of these families from the Lines Area, the project of Preedy Street have been delaying for the last four years as former City Nazim Naimatullah Khan had completed a portion of Preedy Street from Saddar Dawakhana onwards to M.A. Jinnah Road near Taj Complex which was further improved by the present city government.
Earlier this project was aimed to construct a parallel route of Shahrah-e-Faisal from Gora Cemetery near FTC towards the Empress Market and link near the Khudadad Chowrangi near Quaid’s Mausoleum right cross the middle of Lines Area.
Later, the City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal conceived a new idea to construct Signal-free Corridor III from Saddar Dawakhana to Super Highway via Preedy Street, Mazar-i-Quaid, New M. A. Jinnah Road, Jail Chowrangi, Safoora Goth to utilized the funding of KMCDP and vowed to start work from April but due to the shifting of families living in the alignment of Preedy Street have yet to given the alternate plots and announce any compensations to kick off the project.
A senior official from the Lines Area Redevelopment Project (LARP), Anis Hussain Zaidi told Daily Times that the Preedy Street project was abandoned for the last four years as the city government had unable to obtain suitable place for the allotment to these families. “But during the last couple of weeks, the city government had find out a huge piece of land in Mehmoodabad where officials of Master Plan Group of Offices have started the survey and will accommodate the 1309 claims of Lines Area,” he said.
It is also mentioned that the Lines Area Redevelopment Project (LARP) was one of the largest ‘redevelopment scheme’ not only in the Pakistan but in the whole Asia and introduced in the tenure of Prime Minsiter Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The project was executed in 1982 with the objective of providing alternate plots to the inhabitants of the area spread on 425 acre and divided into four lanes, Abysina Lines, Tunisia Lines, Jutland Lines and Jacob Lines where people throng after the partition in 1947 to settled one of the major hutments in the city.
The Lines Area divided into further eight sectors located in the heart of the city surrounded by M.A. Jinnah Road in north, Shahrah-e-Faisal on South, the Sindhi Mulsim Housing Society (SMHS) and PECHS on east and Saddar on West. Zaidi said that the LARP was launched as a self-financing initiative and the only income source of LARP was selling land in open auctions but the present city government had utilizing a huge portion of LARP land for its projects of alternate markets for the shopkeepers evacuated from Shahabuddin Market, Saddar and the construction of multi-story car park.
However, the officials within the LARP concerned that such initiatives of city government to grab the land will shrink the land notified under the LARP and the people who had to given plots will not be entertain in the future. As the time passed, the huts converted into concrete jungle with the haphazard growth of multi-story houses not only developed the entire area into biggest slum but the people who living facing multiple civic problems. Under the LARP, the occupants had given legal status and divided into three categories for the allotment of alternate plots but so far only 7000 to 9000 of different categories have been allotted within and outside the Lines Area as par policy of ‘redevelopment’ but hundred of thousands still awaiting.
The redevelopment project was scheduled to complete within 10-years but after the passing of almost 28 years, the administration have yet to achieve a remarkable target even the officials who associated with LARP for the last one decade not happy with their own performance.
Mahfooz-un-Nabi Khan, the ex-councilor and former UC8 nazim told Daily Times the entire locality having the population of over 200,000 facing numerous civic issues in which the encroachments is on the top. “A large number of complaints have been lodged to the concerned officials of LARP and Jamshed Town regarding the mushroom growth of haphazard construction of illegal houses and other establishments but it seems that no one is taking interest in the favour of local people,” he said.
The entire Lines Area has only one high school, DPN High School established in Tunisia Lines for the last 60 years but the condition building showing that the city government had deliberately ignored this project for further devastation, as claimed by the area people of Tunisia Lines. The right side of Korangi Road Extension from Gora Cemetery to onwards Saddar have become favourite for the encroachers and set up double-story commercial buildings right on the sewerage drain with the connivance of corrupt officials of city government. The area residents had also complained about the shifting of LARP office from Lines Area to Super Market in Liaquatabad some eight months ago.
“When the LARP office was functional within the Lines Area, people had approached to the concerned officials to seek help on their civic issues but after the shifting at the new place it is impossible to local people to visit to abandon their routine work. The city government should consider on this decision,” Sohrab, a resident said.
However, the area residents had proud on this settlement once housed for the renowned personalities like Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, Mulana Ihtisham-ul-Haq Thanvi, Dr Hameedullah, Roshan Khan and Jehangir Khan, Mahshir Badayuni, Dr Abdul Wahab, Habib Jalib, Mulana Ziaul Qadri and Syed Musharrafuddin the father of President Pervez Musharraf.
-Published in Daily Times | Jul 08, 2008

~ by jamilkhan on July 9, 2008.

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