ISLAMABAD, Sep 26,2021- Experts are raising eyebrows on CPEC’s Karachi coastline plan called Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone (KCCDZ)
A monumental decision was taken during the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on CPEC, held on 23rd September at Islamabad and Beijing, its detailed were made available on Sep 25.
The two countries – China and Pakistan agreed to include Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone (KCCDZ) under the CPEC framework ‘, said a press release here.
The development experts and civil society is critical of the decision and demanded to share more details and information about the project. They are expressing their views on the project.
More important they quoted the judgement of Apex court delivered in
Development expert Prof Nausheen H Anwar in her tweet termed its
:This moment feels a lot like the opening of the American tv show Fantasy Island with Tattoo’s catchphrase ‘the plane, the plane’ ; except this is me saying ‘the plan, the plan’ w/ all its hideous, top down, military backed fantasies.
Journalist Zofeen Ebrahim says: Do the 20,000 to 25,000 families in Machhar Colony know of the “monumental decision” of their #displacement? Do they know where they will be “relocated”. Need more clarity, more trasnparency, more info.
Journalist and civil society activist Nazish Brohi raised the issue of residents who are presently living on the proposed site:
I don’t know enough to comment on plan itself. But
Bengalis & Burmese Rohingya. They don’t have NICs, property papers, voting rights etc. Dont throw them out & say we can’t compensate them bec they have no papers.
Another twitter user Shan Ali Qambrani says: The Chinese work so fast and I guess that it would not take more than five or six years to complete the project. Under the agreed plan, we would relocate some 20,000 to 25,000 families from Machhar Colony and relocate them.
Prof Nausheen H Anwar further says: Global capital & more blah blah: “In a first of its kind even for CPEC, the planned multibillion dollar mega KCCDZ project will be built on direct Chinese investment in partnership with Karachi Port Trust (KPT). The quantum of expected investment is around USD 3.5 billion.”
Environmentalist and development activist and says:
They are going against #SC mandate of not allowing KPT any construction activity & orders to use reclaimed land only for plantation. Besides… Area has mangroves… They are protected forests. We need to gear up for a fight …. Again
Supreme Court of Pakistan not allows any construction activity
In Feb 2020, Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that the Board of Trustees of Karachi Port Trust (KPT) is not authorized under the law to create housing societies for its employees and lease, transfer or sell the property/land of the port to them.
The act of board of trustees of creating housing societies for employees of KPT is contrary to the very mandate of the KPT Act and is declared to be wholly illegal being void ab initio, a detailed order of three-member bench of SC stated in a case pertaining to KPT Employees Housing Society on Mai Kolachi Road Karachi.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed in its order explained that on a detailed examination of the provision of the KPT Act, it is crystal clear that nowhere in the Act, the Board of Trustees of the Port of Karachi have been given power or authority to lease out, transfer or sell KPT property/land for residential purpose to its employees ie its officers and servants.
The Federal Government has created by a statutory instrument, the KPT, and has vested in the Board of Trustees the management of the affairs of the Port. Thus, the Board of Trustees of the Port of Karachi acts as Trustees on behalf of the Federal Government in respect of management of the affairs of the Port, the order stated.
KCCDZ, an initiative of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs focuses on providing Karachi with an ultra-modern urban infrastructure zone, placing Karachi amongst the top port cities of the world.
In a first of its kind even for CPEC, the planned multi-billion dollar mega KCCDZ project would be built on direct Chinese investment in partnership with Karachi Port Trust (KPT). The quantum of expected investment was around USD 3.5 billion.
Developed on reclaimed area of approximately 640 hectares on the Western back waters marsh land of KPT, KCCDZ would be a flagship project for not only Pakistan but the entire region.
In accordance with PM Imran Khan’s vision for promoting low-cost housing, KCCDZ would also provide residential resettlement to more than 20,000 families living in the surrounding slums.
The environment friendly mega KCCDZ, envisages 4 new berths for KPT, adding depth to Pakistan’s expanding maritime sector.
It would also house a state-of-the-art fishing port, with a world class fisheries export processing zone to boost Pakistan’s trade potential. It will also drastically improve the marine ecosystem and reduce pollution by establishing a water treatment plant at the mouth of the Lyari River.
KCCDZ would connect with the rest of Karachi through a majestic harbor bridge rising from behind Pakistan’s Deepwater Port, with exit ramps for Manora Islands and Sandspit beach.
KCCDZ carries enormous potential for global investors as well.