KARACHI     -   Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah held two meetings with AWDICO, a consortium of British and French companies, and discussed the proposal of installation of water desalination plant and launch of electric buses on BRTS routes in the city.

The move is meant to address burning issues of water and transport in the city.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Water Board Managing Director Asadullah Khan and the special secretary for local government among others.

AWDICO was represented by Annmarie Carberry, Jason Wright, Ashak Toufen, Alain GOTTESMAN and others.

The chief minister said that he was struggling to resolve the water issue facing the city. He said, “The most urgent solution is desalination of sea water and its supply to the city,” he said.

AWDICO representatives presented offshore water desalination (OWD). They said they have studied water requirements of the city. They said that 265 MGD water could be supplied through desalination plant.

They said that AWDICO would provide three barges, each with 100,000 m3/day production capacity and total production capacity would be 300,000 m3 per day. In the second phase, the company would deliver another fleet of three barges with the same capacity. In the third phase, the capacity would be increased to 400,000 but each barge would have 135,000 m3 per day production capacity. The AWDICO officials assured that each phase would be completed within 18 months after the contract is signed.The company said that AWDIC would sign a 25-year agreement with the provincial government. The company would operate all barges on a build-own-operate basis.

The chief minister directed the minister for the local government and the Public Private Partnership Unit to hold more meetings with AWDICO to work out water rate and other issues so that necessary decision could be made in time. The chief minister said the provincial government would not be able to provide the company electricity therefore it would have to install its own solar power plant of at least 50 megawatts. The meetings between the company and the provincial government started on Saturday (yesterday) and would continue for at least next six days.

The Energy Global Venture (EGV) has offered to make Karachi leader in green public transport solutions. The company has offered to invest in modern high tech electric fleet of buses to service public transport.

The company offered to provide 24-hour public transport solution to transform city’s transport. They said that they would start its operation by investing in 1,000 electric buses, which would run on the main roads and on different routes of BRT. The EGV assured that they would adopt more routes of BRT Lines as per development plan that needed to be agreed upon between the Sindh government and the company. 

To a query of the chief minister, EGV people said that 1,000 buses would be started within 12 month once the agreement is signed and another 10,000 electric buses would be added to the fleet within next five years. The target is to provide transport for up to 400,000 passengers per day after first year and over two million people per day in five years.

The chief minister said that construction of Abdul Sattar Edhi Line project was almost in its final stage. He asked the EGV officials to visit the corridor and inspect its infrastructure. “If the infrastructure is good enough to run electric buses, I will invite you,” he told EGV officials.

Shah said that he would give them separate land for installation of 100 MW solar power plant for charging electric buses. “We can work together if EGV experts hold separate meetings with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, who are our partners, so that ongoing development of infrastructure of BRT can be made accordingly, if agreed,” he said.  The chief minister directed the transport department, the Sindh Investment Department and the P&D chairperson to have meeting with EGV people and firm up their recommendations and submit him a report within the next 15 days.