Wednesday October 04, 2023

Sindh govt working hard to arrange funds for K-IV, says Murad

By Our Correspondent
June 30, 2019

Sindh’s chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Saturday that he was committed to completing the Greater Karachi Bulk Water Supply Scheme (commonly known as the K-IV project).

Addressing a meeting that was held to review the present status of the K-IV project, CM Syed Murad Ali Shah said that he had been working hard to arrange funds for the scheme and was waiting for the National Engineering Services Pakistan’s (Nespak) report for design verification.

The chief executive was told that the K-IV project was planned for providing 660 mgd (1,200 cusecs) of water to Karachi in three phases: phase-I of 260 mgd, phase-II of 260 mgd and phase-III of 130 mgd, which were expected to be completed between 2022 and 2026.

The meeting was informed that the contract for the K-IV project’s phase-I was awarded to the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) in 2016 for Rs28.187 billion, which was to be completed in two packages within a period of 24 months.

The package-A of civil works was signed for Rs15.254 billion and package-B of electrical & mechanical works was signed for Rs12.9 billion. The K-IV project is basically a three-phased scheme of channels or conduits (conveyance system) only to carry water from the Keenjhar Lake to Karachi.

In 2015-16 it was realised that even if the K-IV project’s phase-I was completed, it would not give any benefit to the people of the city because there would not be enough electricity to pump and supply water, meaning there was no connectivity of bulk channel with the distribution network.

Moreover, over 120km of conveyance system was being laid passing through a variable terrain as well as the highway, as there was no provision of bridges and culverts as well as staff colonies for the personnel.

Therefore, the Sindh government decided to build ancillary and supplementary components of the project. They are road and pedestrian bridges, staff colonies, fencing workshops, etc.

The augmentation plan was included to connect three filter plants of the K-IV project with the existing bulk water supply system of the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) through three augmentation pipelines: one at Pipri, one at NEK and one at COD at a cost of Rs18.679 billion.

The third component was the installation of a 50 MW power plant to operate two pumping stations of the K-IV project. This would be installed under a public-private partnership agreement.

The CM was also informed that the FWO had proposed the construction of a 650 mgd conveyance system on the current alignment of ongoing 260 mgd conveyance system as a one-time activity instead of three separate canals in three phases.

According to the FWO, this would result in long-term cost savings, and the construction of the second and third phases would be difficult due to blasting issues. This required massive increase in the cost and scope, and delay in time.

Therefore, the provincial cabinet in its meeting held this February decided to conduct a third-party review through Nespak to vet the existing design and hydraulic model of the proposed 650 mgd as well as confirm the availability of additional water before moving ahead with the case for the revision of PC-I.

Shah said that 70 per cent of the civil works have been completed, so the necessary request may be made to Nespak to expedite the third-party review in order to ensure that the project could be completed.

The CM said that the K-I, K-II and K-III projects were completed in a long period of 20 years, adding that the K-IV project was also taking a long time if one was to consider 2014, when its first PC-I was approved, but the actual work on the scheme was started in 2016.

He vowed that the provincial government was committed to the people of Karachi as well as the K-IV project, saying that the scheme would be completed by removing all the bottlenecks.