Governor re-baptises bridge to Afza Altaf Flyover at inauguration | Pakistan Today

Governor re-baptises bridge to Afza Altaf Flyover at inauguration

KARACHI – Sindh Industrial Trading Estates (SITE) Limited officials were supposed to celebrate on Wednesday: after much persuasion and planning, the Habib Bank Flyover in the SITE area was set to be inaugurated by Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad. Instead, the officials were left in a daze when the governor re-baptised the bridge to Afza Altaf Flyover at the inaugural ceremony. Despite the fact that the venue of the inaugural ceremony was decorated with banners that announced the launch of the Habib Bank Flyover, the move to change names is said to have been planned. The whole episode started after SITE Association Chairman Abdul Wahab Lakhani during his short speech proposed that the flyover be named after MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s daughter Afza Altaf.
Other businessmen present seconded the proposal. Governor Ebad, who was the last to reach the venue, later delivered a short speech – most of which was spent on praising the efforts of Commerce and Industries Minister Rauf Siddiqui, Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah and the management of SITE Limited. He also instructed Karachi Administrator Fazlur Rehman to resolve all related issues of the new flyover, that will fall under the jurisdiction of the City District Government Karachi (CDGK), as soon as possible so that the bridge can be completed within the stipulated timeframe.
The end of the speech, however, was where it all mattered: Ebad announced renaming the Habib Bank Flyover to Afza Altaf Flyover. When the announcement was made, officials of SITE Limited were visibly shocked. Later, they told Pakistan Today that the Sindh government had approved the flyover as Habib Bank flyover. “The chief minister approved Rs510 million for the ‘Habib Bank Flyover’ and changing its name would cause a number of problems for the Sindh government.
Even the governor’s announcement will make the authorities concerned unhappy,” the officials said. Earlier, when the governor arrived, he inaugurated the construction work of the four-lane flyover at the famous Habib Bank Chowrangi along with Sindh Minister for Commerce and Industries Rauf Siddiqui and Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh on Investment Zubair Motiwala. A large number of renowned businessmen, including Siraj Kasim Teli, Wahab Lakhani, SM Muneer, Commerce and Industries Secretary Zamir Khan, and SITE Managing Director Abdul Rasheed Solangi accompanied the governor.
Sindh Commerce and Industries Minister Rauf Siddiqui in his address lauded the role of the governor in helping to get the HBL Flyover approved. He also thanked CM Shah for approving the summary despite the financial crunch the province was going through. The minister also thanked Chief Secretary Abdul Subhan Memon, Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Ishaque Lashari, Finance Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch, SITE Limited officials and SITE Association for their cooperation for approving the flyover’s project materialized.
Siddiqui said that the flyover would have four lanes, while Rs 510 million will be spent on its construction. The flyover will run over two thousands feet, and will be 48 feet wide, the minister said. SITE authorities have announced a traffic diversion plan during the construction period, while work will continue around the clock, Siddiqui said. SITE’s engineering section has already intimated to the KESC, PTCL, SSGC, KWSB and other authorities for alternative measures during the construction period, he added.
The industries minister also announced a bonus for the officials of the SITE Limited on the completion of the flyover. CM’s Advisor on Investment Zubair Motowala, said that the Habib Bank flyover would resolve traffic congestion issue of the SITE area and foreign delegations will also be facilitated by it. The scheme of the flyover has been approved only with the untiring efforts of Rauf Siddiqui, he commented.

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