KARACHI               -                Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and a World Bank Regional Director South Asia, Johan Roome met here on Friday  at CM House and discussed the provincial government’s development priorities and how the bank could support them.

The others in the bank’s delegation were Lixin Gu, the programme leader and Ms Namoos Zaheer, the senior financial sector specialists. Chairman P&D Muhammad Waseem, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro and Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi were attended the meeting.  

The Sindh CM and WB Official also discussed World Bank on-going and pipeline projects.

Syed Murad Ali Shah spelling out his priorities said that he had equally focused on the development of urban and rural areas.

The urban area needed drinking water and water for industrial requirements while the rural areas were in need of efficient agricultural water system for growth of the agro-sector.

The CM Sindh said that the other important project was Urban transport projects under which 21-km Yellow Line Corridor has to be developed with the assistance of the World Bank under the name of Karachi Mobility Project (KMP).

 It may be noted that Yellow Line Corridor staring from Dawood Chowrangi to Naumaish, 21 km, has three components.

 They are Urab road project and development and operationalization of a Bus Rapid Transit System and capacity building and building assistance.

The Chief Minister said that the World Bank had approved a loan of $ 382 million in June 2019 and the loan agreement was signed on November 2019. 

Giving progress of the project, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseemsaid that Project Director would be appointed very soon.

The provincial government was in the process of appointing six procurement specialists.

 Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi pointed out the provincialgovernment with the World Bank has trained 550 Procurement Officers of Grade BS-17 and six of them would be posted in theproject.

The World Bank Regional Director was told that the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the position of director and Procurement Specialists were ready and would be advertised within a month. The account of the project was being opened for which most of the formalities have been completed.  

The CM Sindh discussing the World Bank-assisted Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIP) is aimed at improving access to safe water services in the city and to increase Karachi Water and Sewerage Board - KW&SB’s financial and operational performance.  It was pointed out that the loan was signed in December 2019.  It is a total $ 100 billion projects in which $ 40 million would be provided by International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), another $ 40 million by AIIB and $ 20 million by Sindh government.

 Syed Murad Ali Shah said that under the project there would be utility reforms and rehabilitation of water and sewerage network.

Talking about progress of the work, he said that KW&SB has been reconstituted, steering committee has been established, PD of the project has been posted and World Bank has approved a procurement document of $ 6 million. They also discussed second KWSSIP of $600 million in which $ 240 million would be given by IBRD, $ 240 million by AIIB and $120 million by Sindh government. Syed Murad Ali Shah said that this component include K-IV augmentation, bulk supply options and installation of new filtration plants.

Chairman P&D Waseem said that the chief minister has approved the investment plant but yet to share with the World Bank.

 The Chief Minister and World Bank Regional Director also discussed Sindh Water Sector Improvement (SWIP) of $257.6 million. The objective of the project is to improve efficiency and effectiveness of Irrigation water distribution in three main canals, Ghotki, Nara and Left Bank, with asset management and future planning components.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that feasibility studies for rehabilitation and modernization of Gudu Barrage were being conducted.

He said that the modernizing the irrigation/multi-sectorial water infrastructure covering 1.8 million hectare would be developed.  He added that institutional reforms focusing on devolution of managerial responsibilities to farmers through Irrigation & Drainage Authority, Area Water Boards and Farmers Organisation would be made. The Chief Minister said that its impact would be improved water delivery (equity and reliability) for 1.8 million hectares for agriculture, and more than 100 villages/towns benefiting more than five million people.  Under the project water availability upto the tail end of Ghotki, Thar Desert and Badin would be enabled.

 This will be achieved through Sindh Water Policy, he concluded.