World Bank team meets commissioner to discuss Karachi transport project

KARACHI: A ten member delegation from World Bank met Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui at his office to discuss Karachi Transformation Strategy, a non-lending technical assistance (NLTA) project sponsored by the Korean Green Growth Trust.

The delegation told the commissioner that World Bank is initiating a Karachi Transformation Strategy to identify the issues needed to be solved for the development of Karachi e.g better civic facilities for the its citizen.

Commissioner Karachi Shaoib Ahmad Sddiqui said that Strategic Master Plan 2020 had been prepared after consultation with all the relevant organizations of federal, provincial and divisional levels. The discussion with stakeholders will lead to suggestions on the required upgrade, which need to fulfill the requirements of planning and development according to the needs of the future of Karachi.

He said it had been brought in his knowledge that there were some missing in the Plan 2020 and now needed to upgrade it. As per demands and suggestions by the stakeholders, the plan can be reviewed. He said the Commissioner Karachi Divisional Co-ordination Committee had been formed to fulfill the gap of lack of co-ordination which was expected to enhance and improve service delivery.

The committee brings all the relevant departments of federal, provincial, divisional and district level of the city on one table. It discusses issues and addresses bottlenecks that may obstruct the implementation of their development projects.

He said all concerned departments, including KMC, Cantonment Boards, DHA, SBCA, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, KPT,PQA, K-electric , PTCL , DMCs and others, bring forth their issues for better result and to work with co-ordination and co-operation for the city development in the meeting of the committee.

It was briefed in the meeting that non-lending technical assistance would be a means for the Bank to structure and engagement with the city of Karachi and the Sindh government in order to prioritize strategic investments – this they hope will help prepare an implementation plan of KSDP 2020.

It is further briefed that possible activities under this component of the NLTA would include various issues such as (a) a review of sectorial plans and an update of the KSDP, (b) support to multi-agency institutional coordination mechanisms to allow for integrated planning across the several agencies governing the city, (c) improvements in planning, including land use and building regulations that provide better functioning of land and housing, commercial, and industrial land markets etc, (d) a review of Karachi’s economic growth potential and finally (e) a strategy for attracting investment, supporting productivity improvements.

The strategy aims to provide an environment that may promote a decent standard of living for its residents, and an improved quality of municipal services. Through this NLTA World Bank could support a couple of key sectors based on additional discussions with the government about priorities. Possible activities under this component of the NLTA would be included such as, a business plan which would identify investment needs by sector, a strategy to mobilize private sector financing, a municipal finance review and strengthening program to augment Karachi’s own source revenue capabilities and identification of donor interest including possible World Bank support.

The members of the World Bank Mission who attended the meeting included Ming Zhang, Sector Manager, Peter D. Ellis, Lead Urban Specialist, Victor M. Vergara, Lead Urban Specialist , Jana El-Horr, Social Development Specialist, Shehnaz Arshad, Sr. Urban Specialist, Songsu Choi Regional Planning and Strategy Consultant, Sangmoo Kim, Urban Specialist , Jon Kher KaW Sr. Urban Specialist Suhaib Rasheed, Urban Specialist and Wit Siemieniuk, Solid Waste Management Consultant. The meeting was also attended by the members of the focal group for institutional arrangements including the Director General UP and SP Karachi Mudassar Iqbal, Director General Municiapl Services KMC Masood Alam, officials of Transport and Local Government Departments, KWSB, SBCS, Military Land and Content Board, KPT and DHA.

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