SAHIWAL: The Asian Development Banks (ADB) has approved a $200 million project under its Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Programme (PICIIP) for Sahiwal.

The Punjab government will provide a matching $50 million grant for the project.

A meeting, presided over by Deputy Commissioner Shaukat Ali Khichi, and attended by the ADB consultant mission. Kiyoshi Nakamitsu, principal urban development specialist, discussed the project.

Mr Khichi said work had been going on for the last two years on the feasibility report for developing urban cities to metropolitan levels.

Programme Director Kaiser Saleem told Dawn the PICIIP meant creating world class infrastructure and services, supporting modern urban centres, strengthening of urban governess and significantly improved urban planning and management framework for the Sahiwal City.

Sialkot and Sahiwal districts have been selected for the project in Punjab.

The delegation also visited the city where projects will be implemented.

PICIIP consultant Mr Nikamitsu said a modern and safe urban infrastructure was essential for the development of intermediate cities to improve the quality of life of its residents.

“The PICIIP is expected to benefit 200,000 people of the Sahiwal city,” he added.

He said the PICIIP would provide sustainable urban infrastructure through rapid transport, solid waste and waste water drainage solutions to the residents besides improving hygienic and health environment and physical conditions of the people. He said the project would also strengthen local businesses and entrepreneurship. Creating local employment and strengthening local livelihood patterns are additional benefits of the project.

The project includes: the installation of a sewerage treatment plant, tube well turbine pumps and motors, water reservoirs, water pipes, water metres, pressure gauges, boreholes and the water transfer station; the rehabilitation of the disposal station, parks and green belts; replacement of sewer pipes; provision of missing equipment for the sewage water management; and unblocking of drains.

“The PICIIP provides investment in urban management and infrastructure to strengthen regulatory framework and municipal governance through an efficient financial management for sustainable urban development,” Mr Khichi said, adding that under human development component, the project would enhance financial, human and natural resources for providing high quality of services at an affordable cost.

The DC said the ABD assistance was a welcome development for the residents of Sahiwal and Sialkot.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2017