KARACHI: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad and Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah formally inaugurated the much-needed Greater Karachi Bulk Water Supply Scheme, commonly known as the K-IV, at the site of the project on the Super Highway Sunday morning.
However, the ground-breaking of the project had already been done due to a tight completion period, which has been cut short from four years to two years.
Shah, while addressing a ceremony organised to launch K-IV, said that water shortage in Karachi is one of the most serious problems and the launch of the project's first phase will bring hope to the residents. "It's a test case for the government to provide 260 mega gallons per day (MGD) of water to the city on a top priority basis," he said. "But this is not enough, I promise to launch phase-II of the same project by March 23 to provide another 260MGD to the people of Karachi and for the industrial growth of the city." He added that phase-II will be launched without waiting for the completion of phase-I.
Shah appreciated former CM Qaim Ali Shah for taking special interest in the project and said that he had relaxed the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules and had allowed the awarding of the contract to the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) for the early completion of the project. The CM said that the Sindh government has given its land and resources for the project. "I myself will closely follow the work of the project and have directed all the KWSB officials to do the same," he said. On the occasion, the CM thanked the federal government for funding 50% of the project's cost, which is Rs25.5 billion. "The former CM was determined to complete the K-IV project even when the federal government had refused to release its due share," he recalled. Shah mentioned that the project will be a big gift for the people of Karachi that they are giving to the citizens of Karachi on August 14.
FWO director-general Major-General Muhammad Afzal assured that the summer of 2017 will be the last summer in which the citizens of Karachi will face a water crisis. "Before the summer of 2018, we will complete phase-I of the K-IV project, which will fetch 260MGD of water," he added. The FWO will work day and night for the early completion of the project, in order to provide relief to the people of Karachi, vowed Major-General Afzal.
He explained that the total project length is 118.57 kilometres and is spread over canal lining, intake structures and reinforced concrete cement and mild steel siphons/conduits. He remarked that the project includes two pumping stations, four filtration plants, four reservoirs and four storage lagoons. The water will be brought from the Keenjhar Lake in Thatta district to the Hub Canal, added Major-General Afzal.
The CM said the Rs10-billion Karachi package will soon be launched and, out of the total 19 schemes, the government has approved 14 schemes so far, while the approval of the remaining schemes is in progress. He said work on the schemes will be initiated before October this year.
Dr Ebad also spoke on the occasion and appreciated the collective efforts of the Sindh government and KWSB officials. He thanked the FWO DG for starting the project of national interest with the commitment to lessen the worries of the people of Karachi.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2016.
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