- Project cost likely to increase up to Rs75 billion
- CM asks federal govt to pay 50% cost of augmentation project as per commitment
- Up to 100 MW power project to be completed through public-private partnership
- CM vows to work for development of digital learning of sign language for differently-abled persons
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday held a high-level meeting to review the progress made in the water project named “Greater Karachi Bulk Scheme” (GKBS) and to settle the issues related to it, including increasing cost of the project which is being estimated at Rs75 billion.
The meeting was specially attended by Karachi Corps Commander Lt General Humayun Aziz. The other participants included Planning & Development (P&D) Chairman Mohammad Waseem, Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) DG Major General Inam Hyder Malik, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Water Board MD Khalid Shaikh, Project Director (PD) Asad Zamin and other senior officers of the FWO.
The chief minister was briefed by the FWO DG Major General Inam Hyder, Water Board MD Khalid Shaikh and PD K-IV Asad Zamin.
Project Director Asad Zamin said that the GKBS is a 650 MGD project of potable water to be executed in three phases.
The first phase of the project is meant for 260 MGD with a length of around 121 kilometres starting from Kinjhar Lake, District Thatta and ending at Deh Allah Phihai, District Malir.
He said that the ECNEC had approved Rs25.551 billion K-IV in 2014 and the prices or cost of the project was based on the rates of 2010.
The federal government had committed to share 50 per cent cost of the project while the remaining 50 per cent was being borne by the provincial government. The project was scheduled to be completed in three years, which would be due by the end of 2019.
The Sindh government had awarded the project to FWO for Rs 28.187 billion in June 2016. In addition to above other essential components of K-IV Project such as augmentation project, missing components of K-IV project such as ancillary works, and 50 MW power plant to power the two pumping stations, were also to be developed.
The PD of K-IV project has submitted an augmentation project of Rs18.6 billion, including Rs4 billion for land and utilities in the P&D for its approval from PDWP.
After its approval from the P&D, it would be sent to ECNEC for further approvals. The chief minister said that the federal government should share 50 per cent of the cost of the project as per its commitment.
Ancillary works amounting to Rs9.8 billion has also been submitted in the P&D for its approval from Technical Committee. Again, the provincial government expects that the federal government should also share 50 per cent cost.
50 MW POWER PROJECT:
Sindh chief minister has already decided to establish a 50 MW power project as part of the public-private partnership (PPP) mode, which may extend it to 100 MW in the future.
REVISION OF KV-I (PHASE 1):
The chief minister was told that the estimated cost of the project may increase to Rs.45 billion from PC-1 cost of Rs 25.5 billion for the following reasons such as design and site issues, major deviations in quantities and exchange rate hike. Therefore, the cost of the K-IV thus would range from Rs 73.4 to Rs75 billion.
The funds so far committed by the by federal and the provincial governments are Rs12.5 billion each. Now both the governments, provincial and the federal would have to make the commitment for provision of Rs37.5 billion by each one.
DIGITAL LEARNING OF SIGN LANGUAGE PROJECT APPROVED:
Separately, Sindh chief minister said that there are around 300,000 deaf children in the province and a majority of them have no access to quality education, therefore he is committed to providing them with the best education.
This he said on Tuesday while presiding over a meeting which was attended by Special Assistant of CM for Programmes Related to Differently-Abled Persons Qasim Naveed, a delegation of DEAF Reach comprising its CEO Richard Geary, Director Administration Daniel Marc Lanthier, Ms. Sarah Shaikh, Development Director Sarah Shaikh.
Murad Ali Shah said that he has a plan to involve the experts to create digital learning of sign language and capacity building of the teachers.
“The DEAF Reach is a very good organization and they are valuable partners of the provincial governments,” he said and added he would be happy to involve them in the special education projects in Sindh.
DEAF Reach CEO Richard Geary said that the objectives of the chief minister could be achieved by developing and making available Pakistan Sign Language (PSL) digital learning resources across Sindh and launching of the training programmes for teachers across 51 Special Needs Centres in Sindh.
“We will have to train around 500 teachers,” he said.