HYDERABAD: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Federal Communication Minister Asad Mahmood, along with their respective teams, discussed launching of 306km Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorways on PPP Mode, but the CM expressed his reservations that the Motorway from Peshawar to Sukkur was constructed through CPEC and PSDP while the portion in Sindh was being delayed just to construct it on PPP Mode.
“Since it has become too late, therefore, my contention is that the federal government must ensure financial closure of the project within next six months so that it can be completed by March 2023,” the chief minister said and added it had been made an injustice with the people of the province.
The meeting held at Shahbaz Building Hyderabad was attended by Federal Minister Syed Khursheed Shah, provincial ministers Sharjeel Memon, Jam Khan Shoro, Zia Abbas Shah, Advisor Rasool Bux Chandio, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, Secretary Works Imran Atta Soomro. Federal Secretary Communication/Chairman NHA Capt (retd) Muhammad Khurram, Member NHA Munir Memon, GM Planning NHA Ikram Saqlain, GM PPP NHA Azeem Tahir, GM NHA Iftikhar Mahboob, GM Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorways attended from federal govt/NHA side.
Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway: Chairman NHA Capt (retd) M. Khurram briefing the meeting said that it would be a six-lane 306 km Motorway. He added that it would have 15 interchanges, one bridge over Indus, and 19 overpasses bridges. At the outset of the meeting, the chief minister welcomed the federal ministers and said since he was visiting districts to witness the progress of relief work being carried out in the Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, and Shaheed Benazirabad divisions, therefore the meeting was held at Hyderabad.
It was pointed out that over 7500 acres of land were required in seven districts -, Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Matiari, Benazirabad, Naushero Feroze, Khairpur, and Sukkur, for the project. Joint survey work has been conducted by NHA, Revenue, and settlement departments. The hydraulic model study of the River Indus Bridge has been conducted.
Federal Minister Asad Mahmood assured the chief minister that the project would be launched well in time by taking necessary measures. He also said that the provincial government would be kept in the loop in every development of the project. Jamshoro-Sehwan dual Carriageway: Giving the background of the Jamshoro-Sehwan Dual carriageway, the CM said that this important project which he had discussed with prime minister Shahbaz Sharif during his visit to Karachi on April 13, 2022. He added that Jamshoro-Sehwan road belongs to the National Highway Authority.
Mr. Shah said that his government took up the matter with the Federal Government for converting the road into a Dual Carriageway in a meeting held with Chairman, NHA March 22, 2017. He added that his government agreed to bear a significant share, amounting to Rs.7 billion, in the total cost of the project for dualization of [Jamshoro-Sehwan] Road. “This amount of Rs.7 billion was provided by his government to the Federal government on April 17, 2017, through at source deduction,” he said. The CM recalled that in December 2017, he was informed by the Ministry of Communications that the procurement process has been completed and the project was ready for execution, however, since then the project was moving at a snail’s pace. “I have personally followed up this project with the federal government,” he said.
“The rising toll of Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) has resulted in several deaths and injuries,” the CM said, adding the Ministry of Communications and NHA may be directed to expedite the completion of the project by the next financial year to avoid any further deaths and injuries. Federal Minister Asad Mahmood told the CM he has been traveling the road and no doubt it has become dangerous. He assured the chief minister that work on them has been accelerated and would be completed shortly.
Visit Relief camp: The chief minister just after the meeting at Hyderabad drove to Tando allahyar where he visited a tent city established for the rain-affected people at the bypass. The Chief Minister spent some time with the affected people, sat with them on the floor in a tent, and in true rural culture, he got their detailed account of the tale of woe.
Instead of male members, mostly elderly women narrated the details right from starting of heavy rains to the inundation and collapse of their homes and then migration to the relief camps. In a camp three women told the chief minister that they were suffering from cardiac issues, The CM directed the deputy commissioner to shift them to NICVD Tando Mohammad Khan and report him. While going to Mirpurkhas, the CM visited Diwan Farm pumping station located in the area of taluka Jhando Mari.
The pumping station meant to pump out accumulated rain/saline water Mithrao was in function for want of power connection. The CM got it operationalized by calling Hesco chief and it started pumping out rainwater. Mr Shah at village Mithu Mirjat, taluka Jhando Mari of Tando Allahyar met with villagers who told him that the electric poles of their area have collapsed, therefore they were living without electricity for last 20 days. The CM asked the Hesco chief to restore electricity in different villages in the area and report him.
The visiting federal minister and the chief minister agreed that all the highways and main roads damaged by heavy rains and floods would be repaired as a top priority for the smooth flow of vehicular traffic.
At the conclusion of the meeting the chief minister and the federal minister talked to the media and shared the decisions taken in the meeting. Mirpurkhas: In Mirpurkhas, the chief minister visited two tent cities set up along the Deh Borohi of Taluka Shujaabad where more than 15 villages, including their connecting road, were inundated. The CM directed DC to install a pumping station and discharge the water into Moro channel. Mr Shah visited the Tent city of flood-affected people in Umerkot and mixed up with them.