KARACHI: In an unsurprising yet disappointing announcement, members of the Sindh Assembly were told on Monday that the long-awaited K-IV water supply project that was to supply 260 million gallons of water per day from the Indus River will now be completed by mid-2019. The government had earlier claimed that it would be completed by June, 2018.
"It is a 120 kilometre-long route from where we are transporting the water to Karachi, so it's not an easy job,” said Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro during the question and answer session. “We have finished around 40% of the work on this project and it will now be possible to complete the remaining work in the next three months," he said, adding that the Sindh government has given the project’s contract to the Frontier Works Organisation but due to some unavoidable complications, the first completion target could not be met.
Speaking about the project, the minister said that three different filtration plants will be set up in Pipri, near Baqai Medical University on the Super Highway and in Manghopir. "The water will be filtered before it is supplied to citizens," he said.
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In response to a question, Shoro explained the projects passes through the 21,000 acres of private land and his department has requested the Sindh government to arrange Rs5 billion to pay this amount to people who will be displaced by the project but so far only Rs2.5 billion has been released. "We are paying the cost to the people affected by this project,” he said, adding that the federal government backtracked on its earlier promise to share the compensation costs.
"The cost of the first phase of this project is Rs25 billion and the Sindh and federal governments will share the project’s cost," he said, adding that after the completion of the project, Karachi’s water requirements will be met.
"Sindh runs this country by generating 70% of its taxes. The federal government's step-motherly treatment is unjustified,” he said. “The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz-led government is getting taxes, gas and petrol from Sindh, but is reluctant to provide proper funds to fulfill our genuine needs," he accused.
Discussing the water distribution during the K-IV project, the minister said every day 65 million gallons of water will be supplied to the Pipri plant, 130 million gallons to the plant on the Super Highway and 65 to the Manghopir plant. He dispelled rumours that the project was being developed to solely supply water to Bahria Town. Shoro said after the project is completed, the government will start work on the S-III project to dispose of treated sewage into the Arabian Sea.
At the start of the session, the lawmakers congratulated the newly-elected senators. They also offered condolences on the death of veteran politician and former Communist Party of Pakistan general secretary Jam Saqi. Leaders of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League – Functional and Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan paid rich tribute to Saqi and his struggle for democracy.
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The House members also expressed their grief over the death of PPP MPA Rubina Qaimkhani's teenage son who died in an accident in Karachi a few days ago.
During the session, the health minister moved the Sindh Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 for introduction and requested all members to study the bill, which will be passed on Wednesday. The assembly also adopted a resolution to pay tribute to student leaders who struggled for the restoration of democracy during the period of martial law under General Ziaul Haq. After that, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani adjourned the session till today (Tuesday).