Karachi needs Rs 9bn to reclaim public space, improve mobility | Pakistan Today

Karachi needs Rs 9bn to reclaim public space, improve mobility

According to a World Bank framework, Karachi needs a minimum of Rs 9.262 billion to reclaim public space and improve mobility in 3 of its selected areas in order to enhance the usability, safety and pedestrian access to key destinations, besides improving the traffic situation in the areas.

The document, finalised in July – available with Pakistan Today, identified Saddar downtown a key area including Malir, and Korangi. The selection of these areas was done according to such a criteria, which demonstrated the project’s impact on livability that complemented the on-going or future public investment, has a low negative impact on society and the environment and has potential to engage the groups with low‐income.

Within each area, specific categories were selected and designed through a framework approach. The World Bank (WB) will evaluate each category and will bring the document forward for financing until all project funds allocated to the components have been committed. Categories will not be financed unless the appraisal shows that they focus on enhancing public spaces, meet international standards, take into account stakeholder’s comments and suggestions, are economically viable, have no major or irreversible environmental impact, are ready for implementation and have the proper financing to implement plans that are satisfactory for the WB.

The framework also integrates a systematic stakeholder engagement process during the categories’ preparation to ensure that investments in public spaces are responsive to the local context and the needs of beneficiaries (including vulnerable groups, especially women), and build bottom‐up support and community ownership of the project.

Saddar downtown area’s revitalisation would require Rs4.42 billion for upgrading the existing open spaces, installing shade features, removing barriers for visitors, reorganising of traffic patterns, closing certain street segments, installing signs, street furniture, lighting, and bus stop shelters, organising parking and rehabilitating the infrastructure of the drainage beneath the roads.

For the Malir Area Road, the public spaces enhancement would require Rs842 million, characterised by an arterial corridor and a number of open spaces that are severely degraded. Categories in Malir may include upgrading the main road, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings within the existing ROW, reorganising the vehicular travel lanes to provide adequate space to pedestrians, rehabilitating/enhancing existing open spaces with shade, adequate drainage and trash collection facilities, installing street furniture, bus shelters, safety barriers, shade features, and lighting; and rehabilitating the underground infrastructure of drainage.

Korangi mobility improvements would require Rs2.105 billion, including one of the largest fishing villages in Karachi. Categories in Korangi may include upgrading main roads, streets, sidewalks, and pedestrian crossings within the existing ROW, improving existing open spaces, installing street furniture, lighting, bus shelters, and safety barriers for pedestrians; and rehabilitating the underground drainage infrastructure.