KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday approved new alignment of Ghouspur-Kandhkot bridge on River Indus under which 2.7 km would be reduced and Rs916 million would also be saved from the cost of the project.
Minister for Planning & Development Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani said that the original alignment of the bridge was between Ghotki and Kandhkot in which twenty national and international bidders had participated. The chief minister has then recommended that the approach road be changed from Ghotki to Ghouspur instead of Kandhkot.
The minister said that based on the decision of the chief minister, the advisory consortium’s scope of work was revised to rework the construction cost estimates and update the financial model while retaining the same transaction structure.
Mr. Bijarani said that there was a dire need to revise the alignment with a five-km long link road to provide a connection to Thul Road which would carry traffic from Jacobabad and Balochistan.
Replying to a question of CM Sindh, a consultant said that preliminary geometric design of new alignment based on satellite images of five kilometres link road to connect Thul road have been made and the financial model has also been updated.
CM Sindh was told that the previous alignment was 34.7 km while the new alignment of Ghotki-Ghouspur is 32 km which would save 2.7 km. The length of previous bridge was 2000 meters while the new alignment is 1200 meters.
The cost of previous alignment was Rs6.952 billion while the cost of new alignment is RS6.036 billion which would save Rs916 million.
CM Sindh discussed the new alignment at length with the participants, engineers, and Minister P&D who belongs to District Kandhkot-Kashmore.
He approved the new alignment and directed the public-private partnership unit to issue ‘Request for Proposal’ (RFP) and invite international tenders within a week so that work on the project could be started within three months.
He directed the works department to take experts of irrigation department with them while executing the project.
Talking about financial model and structure, CM Sindh was told that the provincial government would pay 14 percent equity while private partners would invest 16 percent equity while 70 percent would be debt.
Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem said that the Asian Development Bank was also interested in financing the project. CM Sindh said that he had held a meeting with ADB in which they expressed willingness to finance the project.
“I am keen to put its foundation stone by the end of December 2017 so that it can be completed within three years,” he said.