Planning Minister Asad Umar on Saturday said the next general elections will be held on the basis of a new population census. 

Asad Umar’s remarks came during a press conference alongside Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi in Karachi.

He said that the former governments had not given any major plans for the development of mega city.

The minister said that the PPP has ruled over Karachi and the province for 13 years, yet the problems of people like clean drinking water and waste disposal have not solved.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is aware of the problems facing the metropolis, Asad added. 

“The federal government would heal Karachi’s wounds. Work is underway on five major projects in the city,” he continued.

“The Green Line project is a modern transport project. Several of its phases have been completed whereas 80 buses are being bought for it. Some buses will arrive on September 12 while another 40 buses will reach Karachi by next week.”

He said drivers had been recruited, a command and control centre has been set up and the IT infrastructure for the project would be completed soon.

About garbage collection and disposal, the federal minister said around 1.1 million tons of garbage would be removed from the drains of the city. 

“Sidewalks, underpasses and overhead bridges are being constructed on these drains,” he said. “About 15 feet wide roads will also be constructed along these drains.”

Drainage of rainwater is now much better and around 90 percent of the drains have been cleaned.

The planning minister said the third project by the federation was of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).

“Chief Justice of Pakistan helped us with the circular railway project. The project is from Karachi to Pipri and will cost Rs70 billion. It will cover 43 kilometers of which 29 kilometers would be elevated.”

Asad said that the KCR would service 22 stations and the entire project will be run by the private sector. The premier would visit the city before September 30 and inaugurate the KCR infrastructure. 

Referring to Karachi’s water woes, the minister said the K-4 scheme has been delayed for the last decade, but work on four projects will resume in five months. 

“We are trying to complete four projects by August 14, 2023. The Sindh government is responsible for water supply,” he said.

Under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, Rs7 billion were distributed in Karachi and Rs65 billion in Sindh, he said and added that Rs21 billion has been allocated for small schemes in the city in the current budget.

“Karachi census has been a long-standing issue,” he said. “Former president Pervez Musharraf did a lot for Karachi but he could not conduct the census. The census was conducted 19 years later in 2017. We want the facts about the census to come out, involving all stakeholders. The summary will be sent to stakeholders after cabinet approval.”

The census is expected to be completed in early 2023, and constituencies would be demarcated following the conclusion of the exercise, he added.

Asad said that the Sindh government was not ready to hold local body elections.


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