KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to launch the Greater Karachi Water Supply project, better known as K-1V, on March 23 and award its execution contract to the military-run Frontier Works Organisation (FWO).
The project, which will provide additional 650 million gallons a day (MGD) water to Karachi to meet its water requirements, will be completed by 2020 in three phases with the total cost of Rs25.5 billion.
The decisions were taken at a meeting, which was presided over by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah held on Thursday at CM House.
Besides Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, who attended the meeting on a special invitation, the other participants included provincial ministers Syed Murad Ali Shah, Jam Khan Shoro, adviser to the chief minister on information Maula Bukhsh Chandio, chief secretary Siddique Memon, additional chief secretary for development Aijaz Ali Khan, principal secretary Alamuddin Bullo, finance secretary Sohail Rajput, local government secretary Noor Mohammad Leghari and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board managing director Misbahuddin Farid.
At the meeting, the chief minister, who had performed the ground breaking of the water project in June 2015, directed the KWSB and the planning and development department to sign a deal with the FWO and award them its contract.
“All the legal formalities must be met prior to signing the contract agreement,” he said, adding that he would be happy to host the signing ceremony at CM House. He said March 23 was a historical date and he would be happy to have it launched on that day. He directed the minister concerned and the KWSB to make necessary arrangements for the purpose.
While Karachi’s water requirement is over 1,100MGD, the current supply is said to be less than 550MGD from the executed projects of K-I, K-II and K-III, while supply from the Hub dam is around 100MGD.
In the first phase of the K-IV project, 260MGD water will be provided from the Keenjhar lake to Karachi. In the second phase, another 260MGD will be supplied to the city. In the final phase, an additional supply of 130MGD to Karachi will be ensured.
As the total cost of the project will equally be shared by the federal and Sindh governments, the Sindh government allocated Rs625 million in the current financial year while the federal government reportedly released Rs2.1 billion in this regard.
While briefing the meeting, Senior Minister for Finance and Planning and Development Syed Murad Ali Shah earlier said he along with his team had held a meeting with the FWO director general last week.
The FWO agreed to start work if they were given the contract, he added.
On this briefing, the chief minister said that the FWO was a reputable organisation. In the interest of the quality, smooth work and timely completion, the work should be awarded to the FWO. All the participants, including Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, supported the suggestion.
Before initiating the proceedings, the participants in the meeting offered Fateha for leading drama writer and literary figure Fatima Surayya Bajia.
The participants in the meeting also discussed the plight of some important parks of Karachi. They were of the opinion that the maintenance of the parks remained neglected as the local bodies concerned had pressures of other assignments with the result that the parks got encroached upon.
Dr Ibad suggested to the meeting that the parks, which besides adding to the beauty of the city also provided a good recreational place to the public, be maintained by the respective district municipal corporation or be given to people under the Adopt-a-park policy.
The chief minister directed the local government secretary to move a summary so that the parks, particularly Jheel Park and another adjacent to it as well as those in Clifton, could be maintained.
Also taking notice of the misuse of space under flyovers across the city, the chief minister directed the local government department to a make proposal in consultation with the Karachi commissioner to best utilise the space.
Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2016