China-based AIIB assures to finance four projects in Sindh
KARACHI: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has shown interest to extend financial assistance to launch four projects in Sindh worth RS137.7 billion including the Karachi Expressway, Karachi Sewerage Plan (S-III) project, a lining of KB Feeder and Kandhkot-Ghouspur Bridge on River Indus.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah held a meeting on Wednesday with AIIB Vice President Mr DJ Pandian. The Beijing-headquartered AIIB is a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.
Karachi Sewerage (S-III) project
CM Sindh said that greater Karachi Sewerage Plan (S-III) Project is vital as 500 MGD of waste water generated in Karachi is directed disposed into the Arabian Sea without any treatment. “This is a very serious issue and I want to resolve it any cost,” he said.
Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem briefing the visiting team said that work on Rs36.117 billion S-III is in progress. The provincial government is investing Rs7.982 billion to enhance the capacity of three treatment plants to 561 MGD from 300 MGD and to construct a new treatment plant of 200 MGD.
He said that industrial units are required to treat industrial effluent before discharging into the municipal sewerage system, as required by National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS), but still, 94 MGD industrial effluent generated from five industrial areas of Karachi is disposed of directly.
CM Sindh said that the costs of S-III has escalated to Rs36.117 billion, and the provincial government needs Rs28 billion to complete the project. “This is most important project for the city of Karachi and make our sea free of pollution,” he said.
He said that with the establishment of five combined effluent treatment plants, the provincial government would be able to meet WTO requirements for seafood exports, and other issues such as protection of natural water bodies from contamination, safeguarding soil and ground water and protection of agricultural crops would also be addressed.
Lining of KB Feeder
Special Secretary Irrigation Junaid Memon talking about Lining of KB Feeder said that the design discharge capacity of the channel is 9,100 cusecs but has reduced to 7500 cusecs. The chairman said the KB feeder project would cost Rs20 billion.
CM Sindh talking about Malir Expressway/Karachi Ring Road said that Karachi has a north-western bypass, whereas a megacity like Karachi should have a proper ring road to facilitate traffic, and hence there is an urgent need to construct a south-eastern bypass.
He added that the proposed corridor would provide efficient movement of vehicular traffic and goods from Karachi port to other parts of the country.
The chief minister further said that the two major settlements, DHA City and Bahria Town, are developing at a very fast pace which requires an alternate road network to alleviate the sufferings of commuters. This would also cater to the requirement of Education City which has been planned to establish prominent educational institutions.
Chairman P&D giving a status of the project said that expression of interest for construction of the road on BOT basis was invited by the local government department. The Environment Impact Assessment study is under process and PC-I is being prepared. He added that Rs61 billion would be required for construction of a 47.2 kilometers six-lane corridor.
Minister P&D Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, who hails from Kandhkot-Kashmore district, said that the length of a present route connecting Ghotki-Ghouspur (Kandhkot) is 152 kilometers through Sukkur Barrage and 188 kms through Guddu Barrage.
The Ghotki-Kandhkot bridge would connect Indus Highway with National Highway and reduce the distance between the two cities to 127 km’s. The project would cost RS6.452 billion.
The AIIB delegation was also briefed on other projects but they showed interest in four projects, S-III, KB Feeder Lining, Malir Expressway/Ring Road and Ghotki-Kandhkot Bridge on River Indus.
Vice President AIIB Mr DJ Pandian urged CM Sindh to send details, the present status of the projects and concept papers to them so that they could present them at their board meeting.
He added that he and his team was satisfied with these four projects and would also support the provincial government to establish a desalination plant to provide drinking water to Karachi.