KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday decided to launch a 65-million-gallon-daily water supply scheme by reviving lower KB Feeder channel through Haleji Lake at a cost of Rs6 billion.
The rehabilitation of Haleji Lake and construction of RCC-lined canal and conduit from Haleji to the Gharo pumping station would be undertaken.
He made the decision while presiding over a meeting to review the progress of schemes to provide additional water to Karachi.
Local Government Minister Nasir Shah, planning and development chairman Mohammad Waseem, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab, principal secretary to CM Sajid Abro, LG secretary Roshan Shaikh, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board chief Asadullah Khan and others attended the meeting.
The LG minister told the chief minister that the rehabilitation of the Haleji Lake project had come to a halt in 2000.
The project will benefit about 1.2 million residents of city’s water-starved areas
A new 65mgd pumping house would be equipped with mechanical and electrical pumping machineries at Gharo. A 72-inch-diametre mild steel main would be laid from Gharo to the high point in addition to transmission line to convey 65mgd water from high point to the Pipri filter plant.
The chief minister said 65mgd water would be provided to the water-deficient neighbourhoods of Karachi and would benefit a population of about 1.2 million.
CM Shah reviewed uplift of the Dhabeji pumping station costing Rs1.2bn. Minister Nasir Shah said rehabilitation of the existing electrical and mechanical machineries of Phase- II, Phase-III and Phase-IV had been planned. The K-II and K-III pumping house rehabilitation was necessary because they had completed their life.
The chief minister was told 65 per cent work of that scheme had been completed. He asked the minister to expedite completion of the work to pass on its benefit to the people in soonest possible time.
The chief minister also directed the KWSB to submit a scheme to his office for rehabilitation of the canal coming from Hub providing 100mgd water to Karachi West.
He said the canal had turned “totally defective” because of which half of the water leaked away. He added with its rehabilitation, 50mgd water could be saved and made available for the people of district West.
The chief minister was told Nespak had finalised its report and most of the points of disagreement had been settled and now a Chinese firm had come up with a new proposal.
The chief minister asked the LG minister to submit Nespak’s final report to KWSB’s governing body to discuss it in detail.
He said the K-IV project would begin soon. He directed the P&D chairman to keep all stakeholders including the Frontier Works Organisation and the federal government on board in the decision-making.
Cabinet to decide lease issues in city
Meanwhile, Mr Shah asked the Board of Revenue (BoR) to submit a detailed report before the cabinet on expired leases granted in old city area.
The renewal lease policy must contain various options along with lease rates to decide it accordingly.
The CM chaired a meeting, which was attended by Revenue Minister Makhdoom Mahboob Zaman, Mr Wahab, senior member BoR Qazi Shahid Parvez, member land utilisation Aijaz Baloch and others.
Minister Mahboob said in pursuance of the decision taken in the cabinet on Aug 3, 2019 regarding renewal of lease granted for building purpose in the city, a committee under him was constituted. Other members of the committee were Mr Wahab, SMBR, member LU, and deputy commissioners of Karachi East and Karachi South.
He said there were 1,407 quarters — 1,043 in Garden East and 364 in Garden West — whose leases had expired in 1995. Some plots had got renewal of their leases during 2007 to 2011 and 2012 to 2017. Majority of those plots and properties, however, had not been renewed.
The SMBR said the rates of renewal of the expired leases made during 2007 to 2011 and 2012 to 2017 were not applicable now; thus, new rates should be decided.
The chief minister directed the revenue minister to submit a summary for the cabinet about the expired leases and the proposed rates and other proposals, if any, so that the cabinet could discuss the matter and decide accordingly.
In a statement, the CM expressed his grief and sorrow over the murder of Shahnaz Ansari, a member of the Sindh Assembly belonging to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.
“It is matter of immense grief and shame to see that women are also being murdered,” he said.
Mr Shah called the slain MPA’s husband, Hameed Ansari, and informed the latter about his orders that he had given to the police for the arrest of those involved in the murder.
Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2020