The Sindh government has decided to construct a Korangi Link Road as an alternate to Karachi’s existing Korangi causeway, which will be closed down.
“We have decided to end the Korangi causeway as it floods,” said Sindh Local Government Special Secretary (Technical) Najeeb Ahmed.
They have proposed an overhead bridge and an expressway over the Malir River as an alternate to the Korangi causeway. This bridge will connect Korangi to other areas such as Qayyumabad, Defence and adjacent areas. This is why it is being called the Korangi Link Road.
The government is proposing an expressway along the left bank of the Malir River up to PAF Airmen Golf Club.
The length of the Korangi Link Road is 11.5km and will take an estimated Rs8.8 billion. It is a network of an expressway and a flyover and it will take about two years to build.
Last year, heavy rain cut Korangi off from the city and people going home were stuck for hours.
The special secretary said the project will be constructed parallel to Korangi’s Jam Sadiq Bridge. A 1.3km bridge will be built from Imtiaz Super Store, Qayyumabad to Brookes Chowrangi.
Ahmed confirmed that the National Engineering Services Pakistan (Nespak) has completed an environmental impact assessment which will be sent to the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) for approval.
It is a network of an expressway and a flyover and it will take about two years to build
Nespak is the consultant for the project, but the contractor has yet to be decided. The local government department will open a tender by December.
The contractor will make the engineering design and calculate the cost.
Their job will also be to procure the financing and undertake the construction. The contractor operate and maintain the link road.
The special secretary said an independent engineering firm would be engaged to independently vet the project. The contractor can nominate three engineering firms for the third-party vetting. But the Sindh government would approve one.
Ahmed said the government may run into trouble buying land for the link road as privately owned industrial plots are located on the left bank of the Malir River at Korangi-1000 Road. There are 3.62 acres of private land lying in the route’s way.
This plan is basically the Sindh government’s way of “reclaiming” the Malir River catchment area, said environmental lawyer Zubair Abro. In fact, using the word “reclaiming” is not even an accurate way to describe taking over the river bed and covering it with construction.
He warned that constructing a link road at the mouth of the Malir River bed poses a threat to the ecosystem. “The construction enters the Malir River bed at Qayyumabad, which is dangerous, as the ecosystem exists on both sides of the river,” he said. He feared that the flora and fauna would be disturbed.
If they build this flyover and expressway human settlements will spring up around it, which will also encroach on the river’s space. “The same thing happened with the Lyari River,” he said. “An environmental study for the project is not enough. They are counting the number of species that exist around the riverbed, but they do not provide any alternative for their displacement.” What will happen to the natural wildlife of the area?