KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday said that the provincial government with the support of private partners has developed important projects such as a bridge on River Indus, power plant, coal mining, road and other projects.
“Now public private partnership has assumed an important role in the development of Sindh and we are going to expand its scope for better services to the people of Sindh,” he said while presiding over a meeting of public private partnership policy board.
The board discussed different projects to launch under public private partnership (PPP) mode.
The policy board also considered the unsolicited proposal received from Bahria Town to launch Blue Line BRT project. The Blue Line project is 11.8 Km from Gurumandir via Teen Hati, Liaquatabad No. 10, Karimabad, Ayesha Manzil, Water Pump, Yousuf Plaza, Sohrab Goth to Al-Asif Square. The policy board approved to take up the project under PPP mode and receive investor solicitation.
It approved the bank for the Yellow Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) which was launched by TMTD to design, build, finance, maintain and transfer of more than 26Km corridor from Dawood Chowrangi to Numaish and Regal Chowk via Korangi Road and FTC under PPP mode. The finance department had requested the PPP policy board to approve the bank which was approved.
The board was told that a private firm, EcoBus, has submitted an unsolicited proposal to operate electric air-conditioned buses on all possible public transport routes within the city. The firm has offered to import 50 buses in the first phase. CM Sindh directed the transport department to send the proposal to the technical committee for recommendation and further necessary action.
Establish Project Support Facility (PSF) to enhance PPP mode
The board approved a proposal to enhancing PPP project which envisages establishing a company named ‘Project Support Facility (PSF)’ to independently manage the viability gap fund (VGF) to achieve better value and improve risk management. There was a proposal to approve Rs550 million for the fund as agreed with Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Another project called Motor Vehicle Inspection Project (MVI) was award to a private firm. The project was approved in January 2015 but the Transport and Mass Transit Department (TMTD) received only two bids and awarded the contract to start the project.
Solar Dates Dehydration project in Khairpur
The Solar Dates Dehydration project was also discussed. Khairpur district is famous for date palm cultivation and produces almost 300 varieties of dates due to highly favourable agro-climatic conditions. Pakistan produces 700,000 tonnes dates and Khairpur is one of the major contributors.
However, the existing post-harvest technology such as dryers, dehydrators and other processing technologies are inadequate, outdated and result in substantial loss of dates in terms of quality and quantity.
They proposed development of solar dryers would help in drying a variety of dates under a controlled environment at relatively lower cost. The board approved the proposal for hiring a consultant.
Another proposal for establishment of modern grocery market in Khairpur came under discussion, but it was pointed out that Khairpur has a vast Special Economic Zone and the market may be constructed in another district headquarter.
The meeting also discussed establishment of Dry Land farming research institute in Mithi and to connect it with any university.
Lab-e-Mehran Tourism Development Project Sukkur
Another important project discussed was Lab-e-Mehran Tourism Development Project in Sukkur. The meeting was informed that Sukkur is the third largest city in Sindh. It is located along the River Indus but the development of a riverfront has long been neglected, turning it into a dumping ground affecting the life of local population and marine life.
The meeting proposed that the riverfront can turn it in a major asset for the city which can improve quality of environment and life in Sukkur. The policy board approved the proposal and directed the culture and tourism department to hire a consultant for the purpose.