CM urges agricultural dept to reduce middlemen role

Naimat Khan

KARACH: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, while taking serious note of sky-rocketing prices of tomato, onion and others vegetables, has directed agriculture department to intervene into market by reducing the role of middlemen and control the prices.

In a statement issued from CM House says that the chief minister has said that the price of tomato has reached to Rs250 per kg. It is beyond the approach of poor people. “I feel it is an artificial price hike created by hoarders,” he said.

The chief minister directed Minister for Agriculture & Home Sohail Anwar Siyal to personally inquire into the matter and intervene in the vegetable market where middlemen have played havoc with the prices and are minting money.

He said that Thatta and Sujawal districts produce early tomato crops, therefore necessary arrangements be made to bring tomato of Thatta and Sujawal to the market of Karachi. “It seems as if the middlemen have also purchased the Tomato crop in Thatta and Sujawal districts but this must be stopped, he said.

The chief minister also urged the agriculture department to take necessary measures to regulate the price of others vegetables which are the only source of food for the poor people. The commissioners, deputy commissioners and market committees must play their roles to control artificial price hike, he issued the directives. He ordered the arrest of hoarders and those who have created artificial price hike of tomato and vegetables.

Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed Transport Department to conduct Environment Assessment of BRT Blue Line so that the project could be started through Public Private Partnership (PPP).

This he said while presiding over a meeting on BRT Blue Line here at the CM House on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by Minister Transport Syed nasir Shah, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, Secretary Transport Saeed Awan, DG Mass Transit Mohammad Athar and various others.

The BRT was initially planned to be about 48 km long and had been aligned from Gurumandir to Bahria Town via Tinhatti, Liquatabad No.10, Shahrah-e-Pakistan, Sohrab Goth and M-9 and additionally connecting Jinnah International Airport via M.M. Alam Road to Bahria Town. As per plan, the BRT Blue Line would share the route with BRT Green Line from Gurumandir to Merewether Tower.

While the various BRT projects have been taken up, the Government of Sindh has received an unsolicited proposal for development of BUS Rapid Transit System Blue Line convertible to MRT in line with the JICA’s recommendations in Public Private Partnership Mode. The Unsolicited Proposal comprised of concept design of BRT Blue Line, technical details, project cost summaries, financing plan and financial model.

The Sindh government has appointed an advisory consortium to validate the revised concept paper. The overall route and infrastructure of the BRT Blue Line, and accordingly the financial and legal structure of the project have been changed based on the meetings held under the chairmanship of the chief minister. According to the evaluation done by the consultants, airport link is to be deferred and BRT buses will be running in mixed traffic on M-9.

Now, Transport & Mass Transit Department (TMTD) has taken approval from the Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to develop the infrastructure component in traditional mode and developed PC-1 for the same. Following the submission of PC-1, the Technical Committee reviewed the document and suggested modification. Subsequently, the modified PC-1 of Rs18 Billion was sent to P&D Department by addressing the observations highlighted by Technical Committee.

Recently, TMTD has received an Unsolicited Proposal in August 2017 from consortium of EA Consulting for development of Infrastructure for 9.8 km under PPP mode. The chief minister directed the P&D and TMTD to submit their detailed recommendations and arrange briefing so that it could be taken up.