KARACHI: Despite claims from the authorities that the long-awaited Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme, commonly known as K-IV, would be completed by the end of 2023, the federal and Sindh governments on Sunday agreed that the mega project had been suffering “serious issues” and there was a need to improve coordination for execution of its conveyance systems and augmentation.
The consensus between the two sides emerged during the sixth meeting of the Coordination Committee, set up in September 2020 between the federal and Sindh governments, held at Chief Minister House.
The meeting agenda included establishment of the combined effluent treatment plants on public-private partnership mode, augmentation of K-IV to be carried out by the provincial government, issuance of no-objection certificate (NOC) for the Mauripur Expressway and ICI Interchange project and vacation of Malir Halt and Mousamiyat Depots by Pakistan Rangers for the launch of BRT Red Line.
Corps Commander says Rangers will vacate two depots when transport dept launches work on Red Line
The meeting was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, IT and Telecom Minister Syed Aminul Haque, Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Muhammad Saeed, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, provincial ministers Nasir Shah, Saeed Ghani, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab as well as senior federal and provincial officials.
A statement issued after the meeting said that progress of the synchronisation in conveyance system and augmentation coordination points on K-IV were discussed.
“During deliberations it was observed that K-IV project has serious issues and in order to address them, it was decided to develop a better coordination between the Centre and provincial government for execution of both conveyance systems and augmentation of K-IV,” the statement said, adding: “The meeting was told that revised PC-1 will be placed before Ecnec.”
The chief minister said that as far as the installation of a 50MW power plant was concerned, he would discuss the issue with his team. However, the meeting decided to direct all the federal government agencies to issue NOCs for the augmentation project of K-IV to be executed by the Sindh government.”
Effluent treatment plants
The meeting was told that Sindh industries department was the sponsoring agency of a Rs11.79 billion project to install five combined effluent treatment plants (CETP) in which the 33 per cent and 67pc share would be borne by the of federal and provincial governments, respectively.
The project was approved by Ecnec and its administrative approval was accorded on March 12, 2018. “The cost estimates of the components of CETP-2 and CETP-4 with interceptors have exceeded the estimates of the different components in the revised PC-1. The CETP-1, 2 and 4 have been included in Phase-1 of the project as these have no land issues for treatment plants or pumping stations can be initiated without any impediments. The revised PC-I of Rs18.143bn is under approval process,” the meeting was told.
In a meeting held in Sindh planning and development board, it was decided to execute the project on public-private partnership (PPP) mode. “Therefore, the coordination committee decided to prepare a proper presentation for executing the project on PPP mode,” the statement said.
Relocation of Rangers for BRT project
The meeting discussed the Red Line bus rapid transit project, which was being implemented with the assistance of Asian Development Bank. The project cost was $235 million in July 2019 and a PC-1 of the project was cleared for Rs78,38bn ($493.51m). Subsequently, the loan signing ceremony took place on June 18, 2020 which became effective from Oct 6, 2020.
The issue of vacation of Malir Halt and Masumiyat depots by Pakistan Rangers was discussed.
At this, the corps commander told the meeting that the Rangers would vacate the depots when the provincial transport department would start work on the Red Line BRT project.
The Sindh government urged the federal ministers to direct the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to allot 12-14 acres of land, out of identified 52 acres of land under its possession, for immediate relocation of Rangers to avoid penalties anticipated due to occupation of depots.
Minister Asad Umar assured the chief minister that the matter would be solved through his office.
The meeting was also briefed about the initiatives taken to remove garbage from the city. It was said that the cleaning of all the districts of Karachi, except district Central, had been outsourced and the process of handing over cleaning of district Central was under way.
It was also decided that matter for regulating the garbage generated in the cantonment boards areas and clearance of outstanding dues of Sindh Solid Waste Management Board would be resolved.
The meeting was told to decide land related issues/NOC pertaining to the Karachi Port Trust, National Highway Authority, Pakistan Railways, etc for Mauripur Expressway & ICI Interchange project.
The meeting was told that there were certain issues in the encumbrance free access of the site at different locations of the project. The coordination committee directed the navy, KPT, PR and NHA to issue NOCs so that the project could be kicked off.
Regarding development and redesigning of Karachi nullahs, the participants of the meeting discussed the matter at length and decided to reduce the right of way (RoW) along the nullahs from 30 feet to 20 feet in which a wall would be constructed within two feet and two-lane road would be constructed on 18 feet for vehicular traffic.
Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2022