Cash-strapped KWSB awaits funds from Centre for completing uplift work


The cash-strapped Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) has yet to complete the development work of around Rs 1.285 billion at the Pakistan Textile City, Pakistan Today has learnt.
Sources said that the Ministry of Textile Industry has yet to transfer funds for completing the ongoing development work, which is why the progress is slow.
The Finance Ministry had withheld the earmarked funds for the said purpose after the floods affected the country’s economy, the sources added.
They said that on November 30, 2006, the Executive Committee of National Economic Council had approved the PC-I of laying 48-inch diameter MS pipe from high point (forebay structure) to Pakistan Textile City at a cost of around Rs 636.585 million.
However, due to apathy of the federal authorities, the development work of the textile city was delayed and the contract was awarded to M/s Shaikh Baz Khan and Brothers at Rs 829.538 million on February 17, 2009, they added.
They also said that the KWSB was liable to provide HR Coil to the contractor procuring it from Pakistan Steel at a cost of Rs 444.426 million and consultancy charges of Rs 11.924 million, thus the total cost of the project stood at Rs 1.285 billion.
In 2008-09, the KWSB had received only Rs 32 million from the Textile Ministry against the allocation of Rs 218 million, whereas the Sindh government had provided Rs 50 million, they added.
They further said that the water utility was facing a shortage of funds in the fiscal year 2009-10, in which it had received only Rs 50 million from the provincial government.
However, the officials of the Ministry of Textile Industry were arbitrarily delaying the matter as not a single paisa has been released thus far, they added.
Sources said that the development work is presently being carried out at a snail’s pace due to dearth of funds.
The funds released so far have been utilised fittingly, but the prices of materials to be used for the project are increasing with the passage of time, the sources added.
They said that the KWSB managing director had recently forwarded a letter to the Ministry of Textile Industry Secretary, urging him to look into the matter and ensure timely release of funds for the said project.
However, the KWSB has so far received no response from the ministry, giving an impression that the authorities are not interested in the economic progress of the country, they added.
They also said that the KWSB had approached the Textile Ministry to ensure early release of the allocated funds of Rs 246 million, but the request seems to have been trashed.