Murad, World Bank agree to launch Rs110 bn housing project for flood victims

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah with the assistance of the World Bank has decided to launch a Rs110 billion housing project for the flood-affected people for which a special unit would be established under the chief secretary.

This emerged on Friday in a meeting between Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and World Bank Country Director Mr. Najy Benhassine who attended the meeting through video link from Islamabad.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, Dr. Azra Pechuho, Manzoor Wassan, Nasir Shah Jam Khan Shoro, Zia Abbas Shah, Rasool Bux Chandio, Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, and concerned secretaries. The world bank team who attended the meeting in person include Program Leader Abedalrazaq Khalif, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist Elif Ayhan, Bilal Khalid, Kamran Akbar, Yunziyi Lag, and Farah Yamin.

The chief minister said that he has already deputed teams to clear water from the flooded towns and villages. “The dewatering process is in progress and hopefully within one and half months it would be evacuated,” he said and added that he would start construction of houses for the affected people once the water is disposed of.

Mr. Shah said that the winter season was over the head, therefore we have to make housing arrangements for the people. He urged the world bank to finance the housing project.

The chief minister and the World Bank Country Director after thorough discussions and deliberations decided to launch the project forRs110 billion for which a company would be established under the control of the chief secretary.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company with the support of the public and private sector would start the construction of the houses for which the survey is in progress.

The chief minister took up another project with the world bank saying that the floods have destroyed the road network and sunk the drainage system in Karachi. He added that he wanted to start a project of Rs13 billion to reconstruct the damaged roads of the city.

The World Bank committed Rs6 billion for the project and the chief minister said he would arrange the remaining amount of Rs7 billion from other sources. Mr. Shah talking about the repair, and reconstruction of the sewerage lines said that the recent heavy rains have sunk them. He added that his government has worked out a Rs25 billion scheme to overhaul the sewerage system along with their widening and redesigning.

The World Bank Country Director agreed that the project would be financed through the KWSSIP project. Jam Sadiq bridge: The CM also took the project of reconstruction of Jam Sadiq Bridge or a parallel bridge for which the world bank and the Sindh govt team agreed to discuss the project in the next meeting scheduled to be held next week.

Agriculture: The chief minister discussing the plight of growers said that the floods have caused them irreparable loss. He added that his government has prepared a scheme of Rs30 billion to provide subsidies to growers in the heads of fertilizer and certified seed. “We have to revive our flooded agro-industry by giving them some incentives,” he said and added the growers were not in such a position to purchase certified seeds, fertilizers other inputs.

The World Bank agreed to provide $323 billion for the purpose so that the growers could reclaim their lands from the floods and start the upcoming Rabi crop.(NNI)