Qaim empowered to extend Education City deadline

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KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Monday authorised the Sindh chief minister to extend the deadline for the completion of the Karachi Education City project, after it dawned onto the provincial lawmakers that the private parties, which have acquired land for the project, cannot be held responsible for the delay.
The House granted an amendment in the Colonisation of Government Lands Bill, empowering the Sindh chief minister to allow an extension to the time limit set in the original law legislated for the project.
The investors, including renowned educational and health institutions, had to complete their projects in the Education City within two years, but none of them were able to do so because of the lack of basic infrastructure facilities at the site.
The project was introduced during the last Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-led government and is situated between the Super Highway and the National Highway.
Around 200 acres of land was allotted to different parties, including Agha Khan University, to set up their educational projects. Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro moved an amendment in the bill, which the House passed unanimously.
The amendment read, “Provided further that the chief minister may extend the period of completion of projects in respect of land granted for education and health purposes in cases, where the delay in completion of the project is not on account of any negligence on the part of the grantee.”
Citing reasons for the amendment, the law minister said that under the Colonisation of Government Lands Act, 1912, the grantees of land in Education City were required to complete their projects within two years of the allotment of the land.
“But they were unable to complete their projects within a period of two years due to unavailability of water, electricity, gas and other infrastructure facilities,” the law minister stated in a written statement.