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June 15, 2019

Rs36 billion allocated in Sindh budget for Karachi’s development projects


June 15, 2019

The Sindh government has allocated Rs36 billion for development projects in Karachi under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the upcoming financial year 2019-20.

Delivering his budget speech in the Sindh Assembly on Friday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said during the last three fiscal years (from 2016-17 to 2018-19), the Sindh government spent Rs29 billion on mega schemes for Karachi and completed 19 major development projects.

The CM said in addition to allocating Rs36 billion under the ADP, the Sindh government had signed major investment agreements worth USD1.5 billion (Rs226 billion) over a period of five years with international development partners for carrying out development work in the high priority sectors.

Various projects in the city would be undertaken under the investment, Shah said. One of such projects is the Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project, which is a $98 million project aimed at enhancing public spaces in targeted neighborhoods, improving urban roads infrastructure and improving ease of doing business. The project is already under execution.

Another such project is the Competitive and Liveable City of Karachi (CLICK) that has been estimated at USD240 million. The project has been designed to strengthen the working and infrastructure financing of local councils in Karachi.

The KWSSIP is a USD105 million World Bank-assisted project, which focuses on long-term strengthening of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board through multiple reforms. Two major transport schemes in the city had also been planned by the Sindh government which would be completed with the help of donor agencies, the CM said. The schemes included Yellow Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Red Line BRT estimated at USD438 million and USD561 million respectively.

ADP projects

The CM also named various projects for Karachi that had been included in the ADP. One of such projects is S-III, a mega sewerage project costing Rs36.11 billion which has been in progress for over a decade. Half of the funds for the project had to be provided by the federal government, the CM said, lamenting that the Centre had deleted the project from the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20 after a decision made by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec), according to which the federal government would only finance 50 per cent of the original cost of the project that was Rs7.9 billion. Hence, the Centre only took responsibility for Rs.3.9 billion.

The Sindh government stood fully committed to the S-III project, the CM remarked. He informed the assembly that work in this regard was in full swing in the Lyari River basin. The treatment plant in Mauripur, TP-III, had been rehabilitated to treat 77 MGD wastewater and was operational, the CM said, adding that work on the treatment plant in Haroonabad, TP-I, having the capacity to treat 100 MGD, was planned to be completed by December 2019 after which its capacity would increase to 177 MGD.

He said work on the Malir trunk sewers and the treatment plant in Korangi, TP-IV, having capacity of 180 MGD would start during 2019-20. The Sindh government allocated Rs5 billion for the purpose in the 2019-20 ADP. Regarding the K-IV project, the CM said its estimated cost was Rs25.55 billion, and the federal government would bear some of it. The provincial government had so far released and utilised Rs7.96 billion for the scheme which was presently being reviewed by NESPAK for its design and cost.

Another project under way in the city was a combined effluent treatment plant costing Rs11.8 billion, the CM said. By June 2019, Rs582.4 million had been incurred on the project, he added and maintained that the federal government had earmarked Rs500 million and the Sindh government Rs2 billion for it for the fiscal year 2019-20.

“In addition to that, I would like to share good news with the people of Karachi that we are also going to launch the biggest infrastructure road project of Karachi Malir Expressway,” said the CM.

He informed the legislature that the project’s feasibility study had been completed and the government would soon launch it under public-private partnership mode. A link road for heavy traffic from N5 to M9 would also be launched with the private sector’s help next year, he said.

The CM explained that his government understood that for the balanced growth of Sindh, urban development should address the infrastructure gaps in Karachi and simultaneously address the urban and municipal infrastructure needs of other major cities of Sindh.

With this approach, the Sindh government had conducted the Karachi Diagnostic Study, leading to the Karachi Transformation Strategy for improving Karachi’s livability and enabling it to play its due role for provincial and national growth, he said, adding that the strategy resulted in various projects relating to municipal service delivery, urban transport, improved urban spaces and conducive business environment.

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