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Sindh, WB discuss over $10bn infrastructure, reforms projects

Updated October 03, 2018

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— Photo/File
— Photo/File

KARACHI: The World Bank has agreed to provide over $10 billion financial assistance to the provincial government for undertaking various institutional reforms and development projects in Sindh, including Karachi.

Besides the ongoing $86 million Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project, the WB offered assistance of collective $1.24bn for three other projects in the metropolis — Karachi Urban Management ($200m), Karachi Urban Mobility ($400m) and Karachi Water and Sewerage ($640m) — during a meeting between Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and WB officials.

The 11-member WB delegation, led by Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan, called on Mr Shah here at the CM House on Tuesday.

Govt decides to conduct a new property survey in Karachi alone

The CM was assisted by provincial ministers Saeed Ghani, Ismail Rahu, Sardar Shah, Imtiaz Shaikh, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah and provincial secretaries concerned.

The chief minister and the WB country chief and his team discussed each project at length and finally decided to take them up at the planning and development department level to complete their formalities so that they could be cleared from local formalities for final approval.

The meeting also decided to conduct a fresh property survey in Karachi to be followed by similar survey in other districts.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that his government was working for improving governance, transforming economic growth, sustainable development and human capital development. “I am committed to achieve these goals through accountability, encouragement of economic growth, liberalisation and modernisation of agriculture sector, strengthen population management and early childhood development.”

About the Karachi Urban Management project, the CM said that the objective of the project was to enhance urban management service delivery of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and district municipal corporations.

The proposal was to provide performance-linked block grants to six DMCs and KMC for local-level infrastructure and municipal services. A capital development grant was proposed for KMC for flood management and rehabilitation of urban drainage infrastructure.

Talking about institutional development and capacity building of the KMC and DMCs, the chief minister said that he had already announced handing over recovery of the property tax to the KMC and DMCs.

The chief minister directed planning and development board chairman Mohammad Waseem to call a joint meeting of local governments and LG secretary to finalise the project.

WB to undertake Yellow Line project

The WB had proposed $400m for the Karachi Urban Mobility project aimed at improving urban mobility, accessibility and road safety in Karachi.

Under the project the WB would construct the Yellow Line bus rapid transit system (BRTS) corridor, including development of infrastructure, rehabilitation and BRTS construction.

Mr Waseem said that under the project road safety would be increased via infrastructure, crash data system and improving enforcement and awareness.

The capacity building of the Sindh Mass Transit Authority staff and KMC would also be made and study for other corridors would be conducted.

Approving the project, the CM directed officials concerned to move forward by completing all required formalities and also send the concept paper to the economic affairs division.

The WB had proposed $1.6bn for the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board to deliver safe and reliable water and sewerage services and encouraging private sector investments.

Under the project, there would be institutional reforms in the KWSB, which include reforms in customer service, human resources, operational capacity, billing and collection, etc. Through the project, 10 katchi abadis would also be provided water.

The chief minister directed the officials concerned to go ahead with the proposal.

The World Bank also proposed $400m for improving delivery and utilisation of health, nutrition, population, education and social protection services to support women and girls to invest in human capital in targeted areas.

The chief minister directed Mr Waseem to hold a separate meeting with the departments concerned and make final recommendations.

Water management, agriculture & fisheries projects

The goal of the Sindh water and agriculture transformation and climate resilience project is to transform water management and agriculture production towards higher levels of water productivity and improve climate resilience.

The WB proposed $300m and the provincial government’s share would be $150m in the project.

The chief minister said that under this project rehabilitation of canal system on the right bank of Dadu and Rice canals and on the left bank of Akram Wah, Ghotki Feeder and Phulleli system would be made.

Under the project, advance irrigation reforms had been proposed and a master plan for monitoring system of right bank barrages would also be evolved, he added.

The chief minister directed the planning and irrigation departments to finalise the draft irrigation management strategy so that the project could be taken up.

The WB also proposed $150m for transformation and revitalisation of the fisheries sector.

The chief minister said that the goal of the project was to transform and revitalise fisheries and aquaculture by improving management, competitiveness and community.

On WB’s $400m proposal for the Sindh Jobs and Competitiveness project, the chief minister said that this project was aimed at improving business environment and economic competitiveness to generate new investment and employment opportunities.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2018