KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to hand over the Greater Karachi Water Supply project, commonly known as K-IV, to the army-managed construction firm, Frontier Works Organisation (FWO).
The project is now expected to be launched on March 23 this year. This decision was taken during a meeting held by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah at CM House and was especially attended by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad. The meeting started with Fateha for the departed soul of playwright Fatima Suraiyya Bajia.
K-IV was the most important project that the Pakistan Peoples Party leadership was pressing hard to launch in the large interest of the people of Karachi, said the chief minister. Since all the important officials were in the meeting, Shah asked everyone to fix a date to launch the project.
According to Sindh finance and planning and development minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, he and his team met the FWO director-general last week. As soon as they are given the contract, the FWO will start working, he added.
CM Shah said that FWO is a reputable organisation. In the interest of quality, smooth working and timely completion, the contract should be awarded to FWO, he suggested.
Talking about the policy decisions, the CM directed the water board and the planning and development department to award the contract to FWO. “All the legal formalities must be met prior to signing the contract agreement,” he said.
The governor and the CM pointed out that they would love to launch the K-IV project on March 23, Pakistan Day. “Historically, it is a good date and an important project, such as the K-IV, must be launched on that day,” said Shah.
The K-IV project is estimated to cost Rs25.5 billion and is being launched to provide 650MGD water to Karachi in three phases. In the first phase, 260MGD will be provided from Keenjhar Lake. In the second phase, another 260MGD will be supplied while, in the third and final phase, a 130MGD water scheme will be launched in 2020.
The officials discussed the poor condition of important parks in the city, noting that many of them do not have any ownership, which results in encroachment.
Governor Ebad suggested that the parks either be maintained by the relevant municipal committees or be given to private groups under an ‘adopt-a-park policy’. The CM directed the local government secretary to move a summary so that large parks in the city, such as Jheel Park and some in Clifton, can be maintained.
The empty spaces under flyovers also came under discussion with some officials pointing out how these spaces have been turned into crime dens, or are being used by mechanics. Promptly, the CM asked the local government department to make a proposal, in consultation with the commissioner, on the best way to utilise these spaces and implement the plan after informing the CM Secretariat.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2016