ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday termed the inclusion of Karachi Comprehensive Coastal Development Zone (KCCDZ) in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a 'game changer,' reiterating that his government would bring Karachi at par with the world's developed port cities.
"We will clean up our marine habitat for fishermen, develop 20,000 low-income housing units and present opportunities for investors," the PM said in a statement.
He appreciated the role of Ministry of Maritime Affairs in this regard. Earlier on Saturday, the federal government announced its plan to rebuild Karachi's coastline under CPEC with $ 3.5 billion investment from China.
Under this plan, the federal government said, Pakistan and China have agreed to include multibillion dollar KCCDZ under the CPEC framework.
"The monumental decision was taken during the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on CPEC, held on September 23, 2021, in Islamabad and Beijing," an official statement said.
KCCDZ is an initiative of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs that envisages providing Karachi with an "ultramodern urban infrastructure zone, placing Karachi amongst the top port cities of the world."
According to federal government, developed on reclaimed area of approximately 640 hectares on the western backwaters marsh land of KPT (Karachi Port Trust), KCCDZ will be a flagship project for not only Pakistan but the entire region.
The government claims that KCCDZ will also provide residential resettlement to more than 20,000 families living in the surrounding slums in accordance with PM's vision for promoting low-cost housing.
The project envisages four new berths for KPT "adding depth to Pakistan's expanding maritime sector."
It will 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."