KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in order to complete Greater Karachi Bulk Water Project held a high-level meeting to settle all its issues, including increasing cost of the project which is being estimated at Rs75 billion.

The meeting was especially attended by Karachi Corps Commander Lt General Humayun Aziz. P&D Chairman Muhammad Waseem, FWO DG Major General Inam Hyder Malik, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Water Board MD Khalid Shaikh, PD K-IV Asad Zamin and other senior officers of the FWO were also present in meeting on Tuesday.

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 Greater Karachi Bulk Water Scheme (K-IV Project) 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 Kms 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/cost of the project was based on the rates of 2010. The federal government had committed to share 50 percent cost of the project while the remaining 50 percent was being borne by the provincial government. The project was scheduled to be completed in three years- means in 2019.

The Sindh government awarded the project to M/s Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) for Rs28.187 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.

Augmentation Project: The PD of K-IV project has submitted 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 percent of the cost of the project.

Ancillary Works: 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 percent cost.

50 MW Power Plant: Murad Ali Shah has already decided to establish a 50 MW power project on the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) mode. This 50 MW project would have a provision to extend it to 100 MW. Revision of K-IV (Phase-1) the chief minister was told that the estimated cost of the project may increase to Rs45 billion from PC-1 cost of Rs25.5 billion for the following reasons such as design and site issues, major deviations in quantities and exchange rate hike.

Therefore, cost of the K-IV thus would range from Rs73.4 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 commitment for provision of Rs37.5 billion by each one.

The chief minister directed P&D Chairman Muhammad Waseem to head committee comprising experts of provincial government, water board and FWO to go through all the estimates once again and firm up their recommendations so that he could talk to the prime minister.

However, he issued categorical instructions to the PD and the FWO to continue work on the project so that it could be completed by the end of next year.