Centre blames Sindh govt for fresh delay in K-IV project

Updated June 28, 2020

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VEHICLES move on main M.A. Jinnah Road on Saturday along the track of the under-construction Green Line bus project. A major portion of the city’s main artery had been closed for construction since December 2018. The Sindh governor says buses for the mass transit project are due to arrive in December this year.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
VEHICLES move on main M.A. Jinnah Road on Saturday along the track of the under-construction Green Line bus project. A major portion of the city’s main artery had been closed for construction since December 2018. The Sindh governor says buses for the mass transit project are due to arrive in December this year.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government on Saturday blamed the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Sindh for a fresh delay in the K-IV water supply project saying the provincial authorities had not yet come up with their input on the observations of a review committee about the project.

The multibillion-rupee Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme, also called K-IV, was meant to meet the water needs of Karachiites but it remains a distant dream even after more than eight years of its formal launch.

The latest claim emerged during a meeting at the Governor House to review the upcoming and ongoing federally-funded development projects in Karachi and other parts of Sindh.

The meeting was jointly chaired by Governor Imran Ismail and Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar.

Planning Minister Asad Umar and Governor Imran Ismail jointly review federal funded projects in Sindh

“The technical committee of the Sindh government has not forwarded its input to the federal government on the review committee’s observation on K-IV, despite a lapse of four months,” said Mr Umar, according to a statement issued after the meeting.

“However, the federal government would fulfil its obligations in this regard. There are clear directives from Prime Minister Imran Khan and that’s why the emphasis is being laid on development projects of Karachi and other parts of Sindh.”

As the fate of K-IV hangs in the balance, the Sindh government last year set up a technical committee to re-evaluate the project after the state-owned National Engineering Services Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd company (Nespak) raised objections over its design.

The fate of the project, sources and officials said, depended on the committee’s findings and a final report was supposed to be released within a month. However, as claimed by the federal government, the job is not yet done.

According to the initial design, the huge water supply project is 121 kilometres long, that includes a 94km canal, 18km siphon and 773-meter intake and 81 culverts. It says that the project envisages an alternative route and corridor to serve Karachi’s water needs for the next 50 years, which will reduce the shortage of water in the area and provide 1,200 cusec, or 250mgd, to it. The project was formally launched in 2011. However, multiple causes delayed its completion and increased its estimated cost to Rs150bn.

While emphasising the importance of the K-IV project for Karachi, the Sindh governor said at the meeting that this vital scheme would be completed at all cost.

Buses for Green Line to arrive from December

Meanwhile, the meeting also reviewed other development projects and deliberated upon steps needed for early completion of various ongoing schemes of infrastructure and water sector for Karachi.

“The Sindh governor while addressing the meeting said that the federal government is fully aware about the development needs of the Sindh province and it will never leave people of Sindh alone,” said the statement.

“The federal government will always stand with the people of Sindh. After signing of facilitation agreement by the Sindh government, the buses for Green Line would start to arrive from December this year. The Karachiites would feel a visible difference in travelling atmosphere after completion of this project,” he said.

He said the capacity building of the Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited (SIDCL) was the need of the hour and every step would be taken to achieve this target.

Federal Minister for Privatisation Muhammedmian Soomro was also present on the occasion while PTI MNAs Aftab Siddiqui and Najeeb Haroon participated in the meeting through video link from Islamabad.

PTI MPAs Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Haleem Adil Sheikh, Saeed Afridi, GDA’s Husnain Mirza also attended the meeting.

SIDCL chairman Samar Ali Khan, SIDCL board member Adnan Asdar, Ashraf Qureshi and other officials were also present.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2020