KARACHI: The Sindh caretaker government on Friday decided to approach the federal government for release of Rs25 billion to meet the ongoing expenditures on the much-awaited Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme, commonly known as K-IV, fearing that shortage of funds was bound to delay the project.

Sources told Dawn the Rs23.1bn funds released earlier had already been spent on the overall 10 per cent work of the project, which was earlier scheduled to be completed by March 2024.

They said the released funds had been utilised and now Rs25bn more was required to meet the ongoing expenditures.

The work being carried out by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) includes the construction of an intake structure for 650 million gallons per day (MGD) at Keenjhar Lake, establishment of Keenjhar Pumping Complex with the installation of two pumping stations, each one of 130 MGD, and a gravity channel of 650 MGD to it, development of pressurised pipeline conveyance with all appurtenant structures (260 MGD), and three reservoirs and filtration plants.

Caretaker finance minister Dagha says he will ask federal govt for funds’ release to meet project timeline

The decision to approach the federal government for funds was taken by Provincial Caretaker Finance Minister Muhammad Younus Dagha at a meeting on Friday.

Talking to Dawn, the minister said that the funds were required to be released so that the pace of the project could be continued. “If the funds are not released, the project is bound to be delayed,” he added.

The finance minister said he would request the federal government to release the funds so that the timeline of the project could be met.

He said that due to the delay in the implementation of the K-IV project, the citizens were facing a severe shortage of water.

Mr Dagha said that it was regrettable that the first phase of the K-IV project had not been completed so far.

He said that the project had been delayed due to cuts in the funds in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

The previous provincial government had set a timeline for starting the project in October and its completion and commissioning by November 2023.

Earlier in June, the Wapda had awarded three contracts of Rs98.5bn for construction of the Phase-I of K-IV.

Meanwhile, the finance minister chaired a review meeting on the clean drinking water, sewage and waste treatment systems of the city.

The minister, who also holds the portfolios of revenue, planning, and development, expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of water supply and sewage treatment schemes for the city.

He also directed the Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation (KWSC) chief executive officer to promptly submit the scheme to the planning and development department in order to commence and complete the treatment plant in the shortest period.

The minister also reviewed the performance of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB).

He directed that a third-party monitoring system should be implemented as soon as possible as per the rules to assess the performance of the contractor involved in the solid waste project.

Mr Dagha directed that payment be made to the contractor based on the report of the third-party monitoring system. Moreover, action should be taken against contractors performing poor, as per the rules.

He also directed that work on waste-to-electricity and waste recycling projects should also be expedited to improve the city’s environment.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2023

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