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KARACHI: The World Bank has, in principle, agreed to finance the much-awaited rehabilitation of Sukkur Barrage and asked the Sindh government to submit PC-I for its formal approval.

The project would cost Rs16.256 billion. The rehabilitation work to be implemented over a period of four years could extend the life of the barrage indefinitely.

This emerged from the meeting held on Tuesday between Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and World Bank country director Patchamuthu Illangovan and his 14-member team of experts and sector chief. The chief minister was assisted by provincial ministers Sohail Siyal, Jam Khan Shoro, Mumtaz Jakhrani, P&D chairman Mohammad Waseem, principal secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, school education secretary Iqbal Durrani, health secretary Fazal Pechuho, irrigation secretary Jam Shah, population secretary Laiq Ahmed and others.

Project estimated to cost around Rs16.25bn

The chief minister said that the feasibility study for rehabilitation was conducted by consultants and draft feasibility was reviewed by experts while further revision in feasibility study was made by World Bank experts, including experts on dam design, sedimentation and structures.

He said the Consultant’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report was also reviewed by International POE in August 2017, after public hearing for the project’s environmental impacts. The international POE has also submitted an environmental and social assessment report.

The chief minister said that additional studies had been recommended during the implementation stage, including location study for a new barrage, sediment transport modelling and monitoring study, physical model study in the United Kingdom/Holland for consultant’s recommendation for changes in right pocket river training works, enabling an increase in the barrage flood handling capacity to 1.5 million cusecs.

Barrage & canal repairs

The rehabilitation work includes repair of the barrage and canal regulators structure under which RCC arches of barrage (200 Nos), stone arches of head regulators (165 Nos), stone piers, barrage (128 Nos) and head regulators (110 Nos), stone filling above arches of barrage and head regulators would be made. There would be a complete replacement of gate deck flooring, replacement of barrage road surface and storm-water drainage. It includes raising of height for the existing left pocket divide walls.

Dredging, replenishment and monitoring

Dredging and canal de-silting would be made on the left and right pockets approach and tail channels at downstream of right pocket and de-silting of the Dadu, Rice and NW canals.

Replenishment includes the works of central control and monitoring office and workshops, a mosque and officer’s residence and a rest house.

Monitoring and control instrument would have automatic water level recorders, vibrating wire piezometers, reactivation of the existing water level observation wells, acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) for a bathymetric survey, permanent discharge measurement station using horizontal acoustic Doppler profiler (H-ADCP), at Bukkur gorge (two numbers), CCTV cameras and telecommunication.

Mechanical works

This component includes repair and epoxy coating in all gates, increasing gate height by two feet, replacing the existing temporary wooden planks, increasing freeboard for fully opened condition by changes in gate hoisting to work without counterweights, installation of required gate-lifting motors for each gate, replacing the existing system of four trolley mounted motors for operation of all the gates, replacement of all moving components and seals, fabrication of pontoon mounted caisson gates and procurement of dredger, tugboat, motorboats and launch.

The CM said that as per recommendation in the feasibility report complete replacement of all electrical works such as switchboards and local control panels with cabling, dedicated feeding from the Wapda grid station, 11Kv transformer and main controls switchboard and standby generators were included.

P&D chairman Mohammad Waseem and irrigation secretary Jamal Shah said the PC-I of the project was in its final stage and would be submitted within 15 days.

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2018