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Asian Bank to finance four projects of Rs137 bn in Sindh

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has shown interest to extend financial assistance to launch RS137.7 billion four projects, including Karachi Expressway/Ring road, S-III, Lining of KB Feeder and Kandhkot-Ghouspur Bridge on River Indus.

This emerged during in a meeting held between Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Vice President Mr. DJ Pandian here at the CM House on Wednesday. The chief minister and the AIIB Vice president were assisted by their respective teams.

The chief minister was assisted by Minister P&D Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Minister Transport Syed Nasir Shah, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, and Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, Secretary Energy Agha Wasif and others.

The chief minister said that greater Karachi Sewerage Plan (S-III) Project. 500 MGD of waste water generated in Karachi is being directed disposed of into the Arabian Sea without any treatment. “This is a very serious issue and I want to resolve it any cost,” he said.

Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem briefing the visiting team said that work on Rs36.117 billion S-III is in progress. The provincial government from its resources is investing Rs7.982 billion to enhance the capacity of three treatment plants from 561 MGD to 300 MGD and to construct a new treatment plant of 200 MGD.

He said that as per National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) requirement, the industrial units are required to undertake pre-treatment of industrial effluent before discharging into municipal sewerage system.

Presently 94 MGD industrial effluent is generated from five industrial estate of Karachi and disposed of directly into the open drain as municipal sewerage system.

The chief minister said that due to cost escalation of the S-III at Rs36.117 billion, the provincial government needs Rs28 billion top complete the project. “This is most important project for the city of Karachi and make our sea free of pollution,” said Syed Murad Ali Shah.

He said that with the establishment of five combined effluent Treatment Plants, the provincial government would be able to meet WTO requirements for seafood exports and other issues such as protection of natural water bodies from contamination, safeguarding of soil and ground water and protection of agricultural crops from contamination would also be addressed.

Special Secretary Irrigation Junaid Memon talking about Lining of KB Feeder said that the design discharge capacity of the channel is 9,100 cusecs but due to silt it has come to 7500 cusecs. The chief minister added that he has planned a project to line 190 RSs (38 miles) to save around 650 cusecs of water from conveyance losses which would be utilized to bridge the supply/demand.

The chairman giving financial aspects of the KB Feeder project said that it would cost Rs20 billion.

The chief minister talking about Malir Expressway/Karachi Rind Road said that Karachi has a north-western bypass whereas a mega city like Karachi should have a proper ring road to facilitate traffic, hence there is an urgent need to construct a south-eastern bypass. He added that the proposed corridor would provide efficient movement of vehicular traffic and goods from Karachi port to other parts of the country.

Syed Murad Ali Shah talking about the proposed Ring Road further said that the two major settlements, DHA City and Bahria Town are developing at a very fast pace which requires an alternate road network to alleviate the sufferings of commuters. “Oh yes, it would also cater to the requirement of Education City which has been planned to establish prominent educational institutions,” he elaborated.

Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem giving status of the project said that expression of interest for construction of the road on BOT basis was invited by the local government department. The EIA study is under process and PC-I is being prepared. He added that Rs61 billion would be required for construction of a 47.2 kms corridor (three lanes either side).

Minister PD Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani who comes from Kandhkot-Kashmore district said that the length of present route connecting Ghotki-Ghouspur (kandhkot) is 152 kilometers through Sukkur Barrage and 188 kms through Guddu Barrae. If a bridge, Ghotki-Kandhkot is constructed it would connect Indus Highway with Natonal Highway and reduce the distance between the two cities, Ghotki-Kandhkot to 127 kms.  Chairman P&D said that the project would cost RS6.452 billion.

The AIIB delegation was also briefed on other projects but they showed their interest in four projects, S-III, KB Feeder Lining, Malir Expressway/Ring Road and Ghotki-Kandhkot Bridge on River Inuds.

The Vice President of AIIB Mr DJ Pandian urged the chief minister to send details, present status of the projects and concept papers to them so that they could present them into their board meeting. He added that he and his team was satisfied with these four projects and would also support the provincial government to establish a de-salanation Plant to provide drinking water   to Karachites.

The AIIB Vice president nominated his focal person to receive the papers to be sent to him by chairman P&D to finalise and approve them.

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