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June 20, 2019

Chief secy told to resolve heavy vehicles terminal’s land allotment issue

Karachi

June 20, 2019

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday directed the chief secretary to submit a report with regard to the allotment of land for intercity buses and goods transporters’ terminals in Karachi after convening a meeting with the stakeholders.

Hearing a petition with regard to the prevailing situation of traffic and movement of heavy vehicles in different parts of the city, a division bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, enquired of a Board of Revenue member why land was not allotted for the intercity buses. The court also observed that heavy traffic could not be allowed to ply on the roads of the city.

To a court query about allotment of land for the purpose of intercity bus terminal on the Lyari Expressway, the transport secretary and the Board of Revenue member submitted that they had formed a committee to visit 30 acres of private land on the Lyari Expressway. They submitted that they would examine the title of the land and consider whether the land was feasible for the intercity buses’ terminal and then submit a progress report.

Regarding construction of oil tankers’ terminal for Balochistan, Revenue Assistant Commissioner Abdul Sattar Hakro submitted that 50 acres of land in Deh Mochko had already been handed over to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC). However, KMC Land Director Sheikh Kamal Ahmed contended that the land in question had not been properly transferred with proper documentation.

The SHC directed a representative of the commissioner officer along with the Mukhtiarkar concerned to hold a meeting with the KMC land director for the proper demarcation and transfer of the land. The SHC also directed the KMC land director to submit a proper proposal for the construction of oil tankers’ terminal for Balochistan.

The court was informed that 150 acres of land was available on the Northern Bypass for the construction of goods transport terminal and the land would be handed over to the KMC against a price, to which a counsel for the KMC submitted that the corporation had no funds to pay for the land as it was already in a financial crunch.

The SHC directed the chief secretary to convene a meeting with the Karachi commissioner and the KMC land director to resolve the issue as the land was required in the public interest. The outcome of the meeting should be conveyed to the court on the next date of hearing, the bench directed.

Representatives of the transporters’ association submitted that 150 acres of land would not be enough to serve the purpose and requested the court to direct the revenue authorities to allocate further land for the construction of terminals to satisfy the needs of buses, truck and goods transport vehicles. The revenue officer informed the SHC that in addition to the 150 acres of land, another land of 250 acres had also been earmarked on the Northern Bypass but the same would be handed over to the KMC on payment of cost.

The court directed the chief secretary to submit a report by August 6 after convening a meeting with the stakeholders with regard to the allotment of land to the KMC and the payment of cost.

It is pertinent to mention here that a technical committee constituted to streamline heavy traffic in the city had suggested the removal of encroachments from all the main arteries in the city and the construction of Southern Bypass, and elevated expressways and interchange bridges in different parts of the city to accommodate the flow of the 107,000 heavy vehicles plying in the city.

The technical committee, which was headed by the transport secretary, also suggested various long-term and short-terms plan for the improvement of the traffic situation in the city. The committee suggested that proper implementation of the traffic routes should be made and traffic laws as per ground realities be revisited. The committee suggested that as short-term measures, encroachments from all the main roads and arteries should be removed and oil tankers shifted to the Zulfiqarabad Oil Terminal.

It was suggested that U-turns along the Northern Bypass, Mauripur Road and Lyari River should be closed and all the civic agencies should establish mobile repairing material for immediate maintenance of damaged portions of roads and removal of debris after accidents.

The committee also suggested that the plan to make the Northern Bypass dual carriageway should be executed as early as possible and new truck terminals be constructed on the Northern Bypass and the National Highway as long-term measures. The committee suggested that an elevated expressways, bypass roads, interchange bridges, overhead bridges and underpasses be constructed in the sea port and Quaidabad areas and industrial zones to restrict the heavy vehicles’ movement on the roads of the city.

Faisal Bengali and others had filed the petition in the court with regard to the prevailing situation of traffic in the city and the movement of heavy traffic in the city during day hours. The petitioners had submitted that the route map earlier submitted by the traffic DIG before the court was not being implemented in its letter and spirit.

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