Murad Ali Shah says arts council facilities revitalized to support art, cultural communities

Karachi, November 09, 2019 (PPI-OT): The facility of Arts Council of Pakistan is revitalized in a way that external areas of arts council have been improved and urban space enhanced with soft and hard landscape to facilitate much more audience than it used to cater before, in order to support and platform art and cultural communities as a whole.

This was stated by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while speaking at launching ceremony of Urban spaces being revitalized in Arts Council of Pakistan which will facilitate emergent city needs by giving a platform for social integration of artists, intellects, students particularly youth and women, focusing on “fast, low cost and high impact” interventions.

The programme was attended by Home Secretary and PD KNIP, Qazi Kabir, President Arts Council, Team KNIP, senior officers of Sindh government, representative of the World Bank, citizens of Karachi, artists and media personnel.

The Chief Minister said that the Sindh government with the financial and technical support of the World Bank (WB) started a four-year Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project (KNIP) in July 2017. He added that the purpose of the project was to enhance public spaces, urban roads infrastructure, mobility, inclusion, and access to the market in targeted neighbourhoods such as Saddar, Malir and Korangi.

Components of projects: The chief minister said that there were three major components of the project. They include Public Space and Mobility Improvements in selected neighbourhoods. Support to Improved Administrative Services and City Capacity Development and Support for Implementation and Technical Assistance.

The chief minister said that `Educational and Cultural Zone in Saddar’ was being overall renovated and rehabilitated. This include Din Muhammad Wafai Road / Strachan Road, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road and M.R. Kayani Road which formed a triangular boundary have been selected as sub-project area of the phase-1. He added that the total length of subproject roads was estimated 2.5 km. “A parking Plaza has also been built to tackle the challenges of parking in one of the most crowded areas of the city-located at National Museum,” he said.

Mr Shah said that besides this, the Art Council has been renovated to provide safe public spaces for promoting culture and art activities. “The Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project working under P and D Department is undertaking projects for providing enhanced public spaces in Targeted neighbourhoods, improved urban road infrastructure to enhance mobility for access to important places, Improve City’s capacity to provide selected administrative services,” he said.

The chief minister said that the World Bank on the request of the Sindh government carried out a Karachi City Diagnostic (KCD) to support provincial government for implementation of Karachi transformation Strategy through short term and long-term engagements. “The Karachi City Diagnostic provides an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing the Karachi Metropolitan Region and estimates investment levels needed to bridge the infrastructure gap and improve the metropolitan region’s economic potential,”.

“The facility of Arts Council of Pakistan is revitalized in a way that external areas of arts council have been improved and urban space enhanced with soft and hard landscape to facilitate much more audience than it used to cater before, in order to support and platform art and cultural communities as a whole,” Mr said and added “the Space is being used for many socio-cultural activities such as exhibition, musical nights and literacy settings.”

Mr Shah said that Cafeteria and event space was enhanced through lights and landscaping elements like green belts, fountains to provide an amazing ambiance for the artists to perform and audience to enjoy. He added “Semi covered/indoor event space for 100 persons (Gulrang) on the North , South courts yards, semi covered event space for exhibitions on ground floor of Manzar Hall substation has also been upgraded with 2 fountains, seating spaces, plantation, landscape features, lighting, ancillary facilities to support.”

Murad Ali Shah said that from socio-economic point of view, this project was based on the participatory approach; project involves the project affected persons, project beneficiaries and local community to get their interests and priorities.

PIU- KNIP has consulted with other experts and stakeholders by conducting various stakeholder workshops and meetings before and during the project execution, the chief minister said and added the at arts council, around 162,000 project beneficiaries have been counted from which the ratio of females was approximately 60 percent male (about 97,200) and 40 percent of female (about 64,800) as casual visitors, artists and even participants. “Project beneficiary survey has also taken the local people where project related civil works are going on to get their views,” he said. He said the response from the community was optimistic and people were happy to see their area being developed.

Mr Shah said that another component of KNIP that has today become a success story, is, ‘Single Window Facility’ for Sindh Building Control Authority to facilitate the automation of Construction permits, under one roof. “The time required for construction permits has reduced from 45 days to 15 days. Ease of doing business Index Ranking of country has improved. SBCA with 60 percent weightage in country has been one of the reasons for better ranking of country,” he said.

He said that the Sindh government has always been supportive for the initiatives that tend to enhance the rich culture of Karachi Like the one KNIP has done in Arts Council precinct. “The intervention carried out in Arts Council precinct is not going to end here but will be continued in phase-II where open air theatre of Arts Council, a hub for theatre lovers will be rejuvenated,” he concluded.

For more information, contact:
Press Secretary,
Chief Minister House, Sindh
Tel: +92-21-99202019(Ext: 336)

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