KARACHI: The World Bank has agreed in principle to finance a Rs110 billion project of the Sindh government to construct houses for the flood-affected people in the province.

During his online meeting with World Bank country director Najy Benhassine, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that in less than two months his government would succeed in draining accumulated floodwaters as the dewatering process was already under way.

The construction of houses for the affected people would begin once the water was cleared, he said, adding that the winter season was approaching fast and the provincial government had to make housing arrangements for the affected people.

He urged the World Bank to finance the housing project for rehabilitation of the flood-affected people.

After thorough discussions and deliberations, the chief minister and the WB country director decided to launch a Rs110bn project for which a public company would be established under the control of the Sindh chief secretary.

In meeting with CM, bank agrees to provide Rs6bn for reconstruction of damaged roads in Karachi

It was decided that the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company with the support of the public and private sector would start the construction of the houses for which a survey was already in progress.

Informed sources told Dawn that the public company would be set up for outsourcing the contract of construction of around three million houses partially or completely demolished due to floods in different districts of the province.

They said that the public company would begin its functions in the next two to three months.

The sources said that the survey of demolished houses was under way by the deputy commissioners of the respective districts and the exercise was expected to be concluded within a month.

The chief minister in his meeting with the World Bank team said that he had already deputed teams to clear water from the flooded towns and villages.

WB pledges Rs6bn for Karachi

The chief minister took up another project with the World Bank saying that the floods had destroyed the road network and sunk the drainage system in Karachi. He added that he wanted to start a project of Rs13bn to reconstruct the damaged roads of the city.

The World Bank committed Rs6bn for the project and the chief minister said he would arrange the remaining amount of Rs7bn from other sources.

Mr Shah, talking about the repair and reconstruction of sewerage lines, said that the recent heavy rains had sunk them. He added that his government had worked out a Rs25bn plan to overhaul the sewerage system along with their widening and redesigning.

The WB country director agreed that the project would be financed through the Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project.

The CM also took up the project of reconstruction of Jam Sadiq Bridge or a parallel bridge for which the World Bank and the provincial government team agreed to discuss the project in the next meeting scheduled to be held next week.

$323m for growers

The chief minister, discussing the plight of growers, said that the floods had caused them irreparable loss. He added that the provincial government had prepared a scheme of Rs30bn to provide subsidies to growers in the heads of fertiliser and certified seed.

“We have to revive our flooded agro-industry by giving them some incentives,” he said and added the growers were not in such a position to purchase certified seeds, fertilisers or other inputs.

The WB agreed to provide $323 million for the purpose so that the growers could reclaim their lands from the floods and start the upcoming Rabi crop.

The chief minister was assisted by provincial ministers Dr Azra Pechuho, Nasir Hussain Shah and Jam Khan Shoro, Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput and others.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2022

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