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KARACHI: Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said that the priorities of his government were to solve water, solid waste and public transport issues in Sindh, particularly Karachi, where work on the K-IV water supply project was already in progress and installation of a desalination plant and power generation from garbage at landfill sites was also being planned.

The chief minister said this while talking to US Consul General JoAnne Wagner, who called on him along with a USAID delegation here at the CM House on Tuesday.

Recalling that water was a big issue all over Sindh, the chief minister said: “We are planning to install a desalination plant in Karachi where construction of the K-IV bulk water supply project [is] in progress while through water supply schemes and reverse-osmosis plants water issue is being resolved all over Sindh.”

Discusses uplift schemes in Sindh with US diplomat

Talking about disposal of solid waste in the city, Mr Shah said that some Chinese companies had been involved in sweeping and garbage lifting work. However, his government had a plan to install a power generation plant at a landfill site on a public-private partnership mode.

But as far as public transport issue in the city was concerned, he said, it would be resolved through the Karachi Circular Railway and by launching different bus rapid transit systems.

USAID-funded programmes discussed

The US diplomat and the CM also discussed USAID-funded projects, including the municipal services project (MSP). It is a $66 million programme to improve service delivery to better address urban needs. Nearly 70 per cent of project funding would go towards upgrading of municipal infrastructure.

The MSP’s centrepiece is the Jacobabad municipal project, a $36m project to make major improvements to the ageing and dysfunctional water supply, sanitation and solid waste infrastructure. The project would deliver clean drinking water to more than 250,000 people, improve health and hygienic conditions and create sustainable sewage and garbage management system.

The CM said that his government had approved $5m to complete associated aspects of the project. He also approved the towns of Jacobabad, Qambar, Shahdadkot, Mehar, Khairpur Nathan Shah and Johi for inclusion in the programme.

Another project that came under discussion was Sindh Basic Education Programme. The USAID is providing a comprehensive assisted package of $55m to increase and sustain student enrolment in primary, middle and secondary schools in seven districts of northern Sindh and five towns of Karachi.

Under the programme some 106 new schools are being constructed in flood-affected and other targeted districts and construction of 58 schools is almost at a final stage.

Caretaker govt blamed for street crime

Earlier, talking to media at the Quaid’s mausoleum, he said: “We came here to pay homage to Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.”

He vowed to come up to the expectations of the people and turn the province into a cradle of peace and take the vision of Quaid-i-Azam forward.

To a question, he said that street crime had increased because of unnecessary and irrelevant transfer-posting policy of the caretaker government during the general election. However, he was quite optimistic to eliminate the menace like “we had successfully controlled terrorism in the city”.

Earlier, the chief minister along with the Sindh governor and his cabinet members laid a wreath on the Quaid’s mausoleum and offered fateha on his 70th death anniversary.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018