KARACHI: The provincial budget for the next financial year does not appear to bring any good news for the people of Karachi as the Sindh government allocated a paltry sum of Rs1.714bn for “seven new mega schemes” for the country’s commercial capital in its annual development programme (ADP), it emerged on Friday.
While the development portfolio for the financial year 2019-20 as announced by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in his budget speech is set at Rs283.5bn for the whole province, the total amount allocated in the head of “mega schemes for Karachi City” (new and ongoing) stands at Rs12.474bn.
Mr Shah also told the Sindh Assembly that his government under the “Mega Projects for Karachi City” had invested Rs29bn during the last three years (2016-17 to 2018-19), which helped in completing 19 major projects of the metropolis.
The provincial govt also allocates around Rs1bn for two BRTS projects
His statement means the provincial government had spent less than Rs10bn per annum in the past three financial years for mega projects of Karachi and the amount of Rs12.474bn for seven new and 13 ongoing schemes is in line with the previous year’s allocations.
Mr Shah also told the assembly that in the next financial year, the Sindh government has earmarked Rs36bn under ADP and in addition to that “it has signed big investments worth US$1.5bn (Rs226bn) over a period of five years with international development partners for high priority sectors”.
Karachi’s mega schemes
According to budget documents, the government has allocated Rs248m for rehabilitation and beautification of I.I. Chundrigar Road.
It made a hefty allocation of Rs500m for construction of 200-foot-wide Road from Manghopir Road to Shahrah-i-Qaddafi Orangi-Surjani Link Road.
A sum of Rs260m has been allocated for the rehabilitation and beautification of Ibne Sina Road from Liaquatabad No. 10 to Shershah.
“Providing and fixing traffic signal, gantries, signboards, indication boards along with rehabilitation and beautification work of University Road from Jinnah Avenue to Peoples Chowrangi will cost Rs190m and the government allocated the full amount for this new mega scheme.”
An amount of Rs176m has been allocated for rehabilitation and beautification of Mai Kolachi Road from M.T. Khan Road to Punjab Chowrangi and PIDC to Jinnah Bridge.
The rehabilitation and beautification work of Shahrah-i-Pakistan from Sohrab Goth to Gurumandir Chowrangi will cost Rs180m and the government has allocated full amount in the financial year 2019-20.
A sum of Rs160m has been earmarked for beautification work of Rashid Minhas Road from Nagan Chowrangi to Sharea Faisal.
Rs965m for Red and Yellow lines
Documents show that the Sindh government also made budgetary allocations for two major bus rapid transit system (BRTS) projects — Red and Yellow Line — in Karachi.
The Red Line project is an Asian Development Bank-funded project with a total cost of Rs74.679bn. The ADB will provide a loan of Rs28.309bn and the Sindh government’s share will be Rs12bn. The expected date of completion mentioned in the budget book is June 2022. The government has made an allocation of Rs690m for the next financial year.
Likewise, the Yellow Line will be constructed with a loan of World Bank. The total cost of the project is Rs61.436bn and the Sindh government’s share in it Rs5.250bn. For the next financial year, the government has allocated a sum of Rs275m.
The budget books also mentioned the revival of long-delayed Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project. It said that the project would be financed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and its estimated cost is US$1.971bn, or Rs207.546bn. The budget document says the work would be completed by June 2021.
Rs5.8bn for S-III and K-IV projects
This year’s allocation for the Greater Karachi Sewerage Plan, commonly called S-III, is Rs5bn.
“S-III is a mega sewerage project costing Rs36.11 billion and it is under implementation since last over a decade,” said the CM in his speech.
Also, the Sindh government allocated Rs800m for the ongoing Greater Karachi Water Supply project, also known as K-IV. “The project is presently under review by Nespak for its design and cost,” said the CM.
Effluent treatment plants
The Sindh government has allocated a sum of Rs2bn for the establishment of five combined effluent treatment plants (CETP) for the industrial areas of Karachi.
The total cost of the project is Rs11.799bn and the government of Sindh would bear Rs7.905bn while the remaining cost would be shared by the federal government.
The total cost of the World Bank-funded Competitive and Liveable City of Karachi (CLICK) project is set at Rs33.6bn (US$240m). The WB share will be Rs32.20bn (US$230m) and the government of Sindh would pay Rs1.4bn (US$10m). The next financial year’s allocation is Rs7.8m.
Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019