Home Global Village PM Abbasi ends 15 year wait and inaugurates Lyari Expressway

PM Abbasi ends 15 year wait and inaugurates Lyari Expressway

Expressway

News Analysis |

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, with a sigh of relief from Karachiites, inaugurated the Lyari Expressway near the site area in Karachi, marking it as fully functional, 15 years after completing 15 years of the initiation of the project. The authorities had failed to comply with the SHC’s earlier order that directed the authorities concerned to complete the Lyari Expressway’s work by 2017.

The project that was supposed to be completed in 2003 with allocations of Rs. 3 billion has cost around Rs. 23bn, according to information provided to the Sindh High Court earlier. This includes four interchanges and 20 bridges, and is expected to alleviate the rush caused by a large volume of traffic in the megacity, a local radio channel reported.

The development of infrastructural projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will stimulate job creation, which in turn will lead to more tax revenue, therefore enabling the economy to grow, the premier said.

However, in the process, people who surrendered their residential properties for construction of the project have not been duly compensated. Earlier this month, the Sindh High Court had directed authorities to compensate citizens for their troubles at the earliest.

Headed by Justice Muhammed Ali Mazhar, a two-judge bench was hearing the petitions of people who had surrendered their residential properties for the completion of the Lyari Expressway project on the assurance that they would be compensated for the properties.

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Expressing displeasure over the lethargic attitude of the authorities concerned in this regard, Justice Mazhar observed that dead people could not come to claim their compensation, but at least the living ones should be compensated for their properties.

The court directed the authorities concerned to get all the affected people verified from NADRA within 10 days and compensate them at the earliest. According to the petitioners, represented by Advocate Shaukat Shaikh, the government had acquired their houses on the route of the project and assured them that they would be compensated.

Abbasi added. “That’s why we are committed to Karachi’s progress.” PM Abbasi said he had tasked his economic adviser, Miftah Ismail, to be attentive to the city’s development “so that Karachi’s problems are decreased.”

The affected residents of the project stated that they evacuated their houses and gave them for the project’s completion but the said the amount was not being paid by the authorities concerned even after the passage of several years.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, PM Abbasi explained that the project had taken over 10 years to complete due to “technical difficulties and encroachments”. He thanked Sindh Chief Minister Murad Shah and others for their efforts to remove the hurdles in the way of the Expressway becoming fully operational. PM Abbasi also inaugurated the Northbound Carriageway in Karachi on the same day.

Although parts of the Lyari Expressway are open to traffic, a section of it remained incomplete for a number of years, rendering a vast portion defunct.

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The premier observed that the project had become more expensive the longer it had taken to complete. “The PML-N leadership not only starts projects but also finishes them,” he claimed, adding that the norm is for one government to start a project and a third government to come and complete it.

Expressing displeasure over the lethargic attitude of the authorities concerned in this regard, Justice Mazhar observed that dead people could not come to claim their compensation, but at least the living ones should be compensated for their properties.

In Davos, representatives of many countries asked us how we had been able to complete work on such large motorways so quickly, PM Abbasi told his audience. “Our enthusiasm has borne fruit and all projects will be completed in time and within the budget,” he assured.

With the operationalisation of the Expressway, traffic to and from Karachi port will decrease and the flooding of the Lyari river will also be more manageable, the premier said.

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“We must all work together to solve Karachi’s problems. It is the country’s commercial hub and if it doesn’t progress, then Pakistan will not be able to progress,” Abbasi added. “That’s why we are committed to Karachi’s progress.” PM Abbasi said he had tasked his economic adviser, Miftah Ismail, to be attentive to the city’s development “so that Karachi’s problems are decreased.”

The development of infrastructural projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will stimulate job creation, which in turn will lead to more tax revenue, therefore enabling the economy to grow, the premier said.


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