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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Karachi Transformation Plan: Government to approach SC for access to Bahria Town settlement fund

In the Rs 1.1 trillion budget that has been announced by the federal government for Karachi, Rs 126 billion has been requested by the government to come from the Bahria Town settlement

The ministry of planning, development, and special initiatives has released a press statement detailing the plans to be carried out with the Rs 1.1 trillion budget that was announced recently for the development of Karachi.

The projects included in the list are the greater Karachi Water supply Project (K-IV), with a budget of Rs 46 billion, Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) with a budget of Rs 300 billion, Railway freight corridor with a budget of Rs 131 billion, Greenline BRT with a budget of Rs 5 billion.

Rs 125 billion to be taken from Bahria town settlement fund

The total cost of these projects is estimated to accumulate to Rs 736 billion. The government has also requested the supreme court to allow it to use the Bahria Town Settlement Fund, up to Rs 125 billion, which will be available within the three years period of KTP.

Read more: Bahria Town succumbs: Rs460bn in exchange for graft case removal

On March 21, 2019, a three-judge SC bench, headed by former judge Sheikh Azmat Saeed, had approved Rs460 billion offer put forth by the Bahria Town to implement the apex court’s May 4, 2018 judgement in which it was held that the grant of land to the Malir Development Authority (MDA) by the Sindh government, its exchange with the land of Bahria Town and anything done under the provisions of the Colonisation of Government Land Act, 1912 by the Sindh government were illegal and of no legal existence.

With the Bahria town fund the government hence is responsible for procuring Rs 611 billion, and the remainder Rs 375 billion will be the responsibility of the provincial government.

KRC project issue

One issue that arose during the meetings between the federal and the provincial government was the responsibility of the KRC project. The provincial government wished to take up the project but as per the supreme court and the constitution, the responsibility of all railway networks falls unto the federal government.

Hence, the federal government will be taking responsibility for the completion of the project.

Read more: SC orders to unfreeze Bahria Town’s bank accounts

It was cited in the press release that the need for this distinction was to ‘remove ambiguities’ and not political point-scoring as they look forward to serving the people of Karachi.

GVS News Desk