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KARACHI, June 19: The chief secretary of Sindh has stressed the need for completing the Lyari expressway resettlement project by the end of the financial year 2013-14 in close coordination with the Frontier Works Organisation.

The chief secretary, Muhammad Ijaz Chaudhry, issued this directive while presiding over a meeting held at the Sindh Secretariat on Wednesday.

The meeting was held to review the project and related issues, including resettlement and land acquisition matters.

The Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), which is the implementing authority of the Lyari Expressway, gave a detailed presentation on the project which showed that the localities affected by the right of way issue included Sindhi Hotel, Angara Goth, Qureshi Colony, Muslimabad, Multani Para, Hasan Aulia Village and Mianwali Colony.

However, some officials close to the project expressed their doubts about the completion of the project by the closing of the next financial year.

Responding to queries, they told Dawn that for completion of the resettlement project, over Rs1.870 billion was required.

The Sindh government was already facing a liquidity crunch because of a delay in release of its due share of Rs48.91 billion from the federal receipts, they added. Besides, 40 acres of land was required for the remaining affected people’s resettlement in the Hawkesbay scheme for compliance with the court order to give allotment letters and payment of facilitation money as well as amount of leased properties, they added.

They said that the amount of over Rs1.870 billion included balance liabilities of Rs485.056 million as well as the share of the ‘third option’ amounting to Rs1.385 billion.

According to the sources, the Lyari Expressway Project is a joint project of the federal and provincial governments and spread over 464 acres with a total length of 38 kilometres.

The number of families living on both banks of the Lyari River in the area was 14,811 and it was approved that each affected family unit would get 80 square yards residential plot and Rs50,000 as facilitation money.

According to the PC-1, which was approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) in 2003, its original cost was Rs2,871.652 million, but in the re-revised cost of the PC-1 in 2008 it increased to Rs8,719.380 million and the number of affected family units rose to 30,011.

The federal and Sindh governments released over Rs4.802 billion till December 2005 for its implementation while after approval of the re-revised PC-1 in 2008, the federal government allocated an amount of Rs1 billion in the year 2009-2010 but only released Rs250 million.

Besides, the project was included neither in the federal budget nor in the Sindh government budget during the financial year 2010-11 and 2011-12 as a result liabilities of the development and allied works increased to Rs930.056 million.

However, only Rs445 million was released by the federal government against its agreed share of Rs645 million and the Sindh government was supposed to pay Rs275.056

million. However, later at a meeting held at the Governor House, the federal government introduced the “Option-III” to complete the balance work which will cost Rs5.086 billion, including cost of road construction, resettlement, development of the area and for the KESC.

Those present at the meeting included law secretary Ghulam Nabi Shah, Karachi commissioner Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, KMC administrator Hashim Raza Zaidi, FWO administrator Brig Syed Basim Saeed, finance secretary Mir Mohammad Kalor, additional commissioner of Karachi Haji Ahmad Memon, deputy commissioner of central Dr Saif-ur-Rehman and deputy commissioner (west) Ghanwar Laghari.