Monday, February 1, 2010

‘Central Park’ to be established at Sindh Secretariat

The Sindh government has, under the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari, decided to demolish ‘Sindh government departments’ and establish ‘Central Park Karachi’ in its place to create ‘open spaces’ in congested parts of the metropolis. Two high-rise buildings will also be constructed in the area to accommodate the offices of provincial departments.

Meanwhile, the provincial government has expressed its inability to provide the Sindh High Court (SHC) with more space adjacent to the Sindh Secretariat. These decisions were taken during a meeting on January 20. The meeting, chaired by Sindh Chief Secretary Fazal-ur-Rehman, was held at the Sindh Secretariat, official sources privy to this development told The News on Tuesday.

They said that the chief secretary instructed the officials concerned to demolish all barracks located in the 151-acre Secretariat 4-A and 4- and turn it into ‘Central Park Karachi’ along with the construction of two high-rise towers, which are considered to be sufficient to accommodate the provincial departments.

In the first phase, the finance department will shift its offices from Secretariat 4-A to the newly-constructed office building behind the Secretariate-6 annexure (old State Bank library). Rental office accommodation is likely to be acquired for the rest of the offices in Secretariat 4-A, and notices will be given to these offices to shift to the rented premises. Sources said that same process will be adopted for Secretariat 4-B as well.

Participants of the meeting were of the view that this project should be taken up in two parts — the development of parks, which will be supervised by the City District Government Karachi’s (CDGK) Parks director general (DG); and the construction of two towers that will be supervised by the Administration and Coordination secretary general.

It was also decided that the Administration and Coordination secretary general will be the director of the entire project and the CDGK’s Parks director general will act as the deputy project director.

After Secretariat 4-A is vacated, the Parks DG will be instructed to immediately take up the component of the development of a park or green area, comprising tree plantation, fencing and walkways, leaving space for high-rise buildings. The Parks DG will be expected to complete this task within six months. The same process will be repeated for Secretariat 4-B.

The meeting also decided that a committee, comprising the additional chief secretary (development) of the Planning and Development Department, the Administration and Coordination secretary general, and the Implementation secretary will meet Tariq Hassan (the winning architect of the design competition) and ask him to change the design of the ‘New Sindh Secretariat Complex’ into ‘high-rise buildings’ large enough to accommodate the office space requirements of the Sindh government. The Parks DG will invariably attend the meetings of the committee with the architect so that there may be no communication gap between the two components of the project, sources said. Following the committee meeting, Tariq Hassan will give a final presentation to the Sindh chief secretary, after which the PC-1 and rough cost estimates of the project will be placed in planning and development to be processed on a ‘fast-track basis’.

Meanwhile, the demand of the SHC for providing additional space in Secretariat 4-A also came under discussion during the meeting. Sources said that it was decided that the inability of providing further space will be conveyed to the SHC during the next meeting with officials concerned.

An idea was also floated during the meeting that after the construction of the Central Park along with two high-rise towers, an old KDA building where offices of the provincial departments are located should be demolished and the entire area should be redeveloped. The development additional chief secretary, works and services secretary, local government special secretary, CDGK parks DG, finance secretary, DCO Karachi and architect Tariq Hassan attended the meeting.



Great news. Karachi will get much needed greenery and hopefully the two high rise towers will be very tall and good looking.

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