Had the K-IV Greater Karachi Bulk Water Supply Scheme not been properly redesigned with the inclusion of all the missing components, it could never have seen the light of day, said Sindh’s chief minister on Saturday.
CM Syed Murad Ali Shah was talking to the media after Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) commanding officer Lt Col Usman Aftab gave a presentation at the Keenjhar Lake, the starting point of the project.
Shah said the K-IV dream is gradually turning into reality. The project was earlier ill-conceived, as its major components, like a bridge on the Nooriabad-Thatta road on the canal, 50MW power plants, small and big bridges, land acquisition and pumping stations, were not included, he added.
He said that when work on the project started, its cost kept increasing because the necessary components were being included later on. K-IV was planned to provide 650mgd water to Karachi in three phases, he added.
The chief executive said the feasibility study for the project was done in July 2007, finalising the route of K-IV: alternative route from the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board’s (KWSB) existing supply system via Dhabeji. “Nine options were available, but route No. 8 was selected because it is technically most feasible and most economical.”
He recalled that the PC-1 for the project’s first phase of 260mgd supply was prepared in 2010. He said that after facing delays, it was finally approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) in 2014, but execution began in June 2016.
Shah said a project steering committee for K-IV was never formed, so the project has faced many problems. A broad-based composition of a steering committee for K-IV and supplementary projects has been constituted with the planning & development (P&D) board chairman as its head, he added.
He said the water commission has passed several directives to remove the bottlenecks and speed up work on the K-IV project. They include regular monitoring of progress of the first phase, settlement of the issue of route realignments, and preparation and early implementation of the supplementary schemes, he added.
He listed components such as augmentation, ancillary works and 50MW power plant as essential, saying that additional water supply to Karachi will not be possible without them.
The energy project is a vital supplementary component of K-IV with two pumping stations. Initially, it was planned to provide 50MW to the pumping stations through the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company, but no formal decision was taken.
This February the CM decided to establish a 50MW power plant for the pumping stations on public-private partnership mode. The local government department notified the consultant selection committee on April 30 as a first step towards implementation of the undertaking.
The provincial government has finalised a separate PC-1 of Rs9.829 billion for ancillary works and will incorporate all the necessary components to complete and activate the first phase of the K-IV project.
The major components are 12 road bridges, 17 pedestrian bridges, 20.5km road diversions for bridges, five staff colonies for employees of two pumping and three filtration plants, fencing, and five workshops for equipment and machinery.
The chief executive told the media that the cost of the project will ultimately go up to Rs75 billion. “We are preparing estimates of the project based on real market rates, as the experts of P&D, water board and FWO are jointly working on them.”
He said that once they are prepared, the federal government will be approached for sharing the cost. “I have discussed the matter with Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda and he has assured me of his full support.”
Shah said the Sindh government has so far released Rs15.05 billion, while the federal administration has contributed Rs12.15 billion to the project, so Rs51.3 billion are still required: Rs26.7 billion by the province and Rs24.6 billion by the Centre.
“We will finalise the detailed cost estimates of the project, which are right now estimated to be around Rs75 billion,” he concluded. Those who attended the briefing included LG Minister Saeed Ghani, FWO Director General Maj Gen Inam Hyder Malik, KWSB Managing Director Khalid Shaikh, K-IV Project Director Asad Zamin and Thatta Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Nawaz Sohoo.