CM urges agri dept to reduce middleman’s role Skyrocketing tomato prices

KARACHI - Taking serious notice of sky-rocketing prices of tomatoes, onions and others vegetables, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the agriculture department to intervene by reducing the role of middleman and thus controlling the prices.

In a statement issued here on Wednesday, the chief minister said that the price of tomato had reached Rs250 per kg. “It is beyond the approach of poor people. I feel it is an artificial price hike created by hoarders,” he opined.

The chief minister directed Minister for Agriculture & Home Sohail Anwar Siyal to personally inquire into the matter and reduce the role of middlemen who had played havoc with the prices and were minting money.

He said that Thatta and Sujawal districts produced tomato crops early. “Therefore necessary arrangements be made to bring tomatoes of Thatta and Sujawal to the markets of Karachi,” he said, and added, “It seems as if the middleman has 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 prices of other vegetables which are the only source of food for poor people.

“The commissioners, deputy commissioners and market committees must play their role to control artificial price hike,” he directed.

He also ordered the arrest of hoarders and those who had created artificial price hike of tomatoes and other vegetables.

CM directs environment

assessment of BRT Blue Line

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 under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).

He was presiding over a meeting on BRT Blue Line here at the CM House on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Transport Syed Nasir Shah, P&D Chairman 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 No10, Shahrah-e-Pakistan, Sohrab Goth and M-9 and additionally connecting Jinnah International Airport to Bahria Town via MM Alam Road.

As per the 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 the 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 consists of 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 has been changed based on the meetings held under the chairmanship of the chief minister.

According to the evaluation done by 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 obtained approval from Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to develop the infrastructure component in traditional mode and develop 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 received an unsolicited proposal in August 2017 from consortium of EA Consulting for the 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.


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