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September 3, 2019

Sindh, federal govts form technical committee to review NESPAK report on K-IV project


September 3, 2019

The Sindh and the federal governments have jointly constituted a technical committee to review the K-IV project’s technical report to be submitted by NESPAK by the end of the current month so that the project could be carried forward. NESPAK has estimated a cost of around Rs120 billion of the K-IV project.

This decision was taken in a high-level meeting which was attended by Federal Minister for Planning & development Khusro Bakhtiar, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Jahanzaib khan, Secretary Planning Zaffar Ahsan, Member Planning Commission Major-Gen (retd) Zahir Shah at the CM House on Monday.

The chief minister was supported and assisted by Governor Imran Ismail, Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Shah, Minister for Labour Saeed Ghani, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Chairperson P&D Nahid Shah, and PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro.

The FWO delegation led by DG FWO General Inam Haider, Brigadier Abdul Sami of 5 Corps, Brigadier Abeer and others. KWSB MD Asadullah Khan, PD K-IV Asad Zamin and concerned P&D officers also attended the meeting.

FWO DG Major General Inam Haider, briefing the meeting, said that the canal being constructed from Keenjhar Lake had a length of 121 kilometres. He said that the 11-meter deep canal had been constructed and its mouth had been developed inside the canal at 257 meters from the soil area. Out of the 121 kilometres, the canal would flow in gravity up to 91km. The civil work of the canal has been completed by 70 percent.

The dignitaries were told that there were some alignment issues on which NESPAK was working to conduct a third-party assessment. NESPAK GM Jawaid Mir, Mirza Asif Baig and Mohammad Afzal, who represented NESPAK in the meeting, said that they might suggest some modification in the existing alignment of the canal.

They told the meeting that they were conducting a geo study of the embankment of the canal to see whether they would be able to sustain the pressure of 660 MGD of water. “We would complete the study by the end of the current moth and then submit it to the provincial government.

At this, Federal Minister Khusro Bakhtiar said that the project, which was at an advanced stage, needed another technical review by an expert team. The chief minister suggested constituting a joint team of the provincial Planning & Development Department and the Planning Commission of the federal government to review the technicalities of the report to be submitted by NESPAK. The participants of the meeting agreed to constitute a team which would be notified by the federal Planning Commission.

NESPAK said that the project would cost around Rs120 billion. At this, the chief minister said that it would cost Rs150 billion because of the devaluation of the rupee against the dollar. Moreover, a 50MW power plant has also been proposed for the project. The consultant has almost finalised the PC-I of the power project.

The chief minister said that K-I and K-II/III had designed the capacity of 480 MGD which been reduced by 100 MGD due to silt and other technical issues. He proposed to conduct a separate study to improve the capacity of the K-I and K-II/III projects.

Shah told the federal government representatives that water was the issue of life and death for this megalopolis of Karachi. “We started K-IV so that it could be completed, but over 15 years have passed since its planning and implementation and still it seems that it would take a few years more,” he said.

Minister Planning & Development Khusro Bakhtiar suggested installing desalination plants in the city to cater to the urgent need of water, but they would take two to three years to complete. The chief minister said that his government was ready to install desalination plants in the city if the federal government extended financial support. The federal minister assured the chief minister of his support and urged him to submit the necessary proposal for approval.

The FWO and the Sindh government showed their resolve to complete the K-IV project by removing all its bottlenecks. The NESPAK team told both the governments that they would work out a workable plan to complete the project by making some implementable design and alignment changes.

Earlier, the chief minister led the federal minister, Khusro Bakhtiar, Governor Imran Ismail to Keenjhar Lake, some 30 kilometres left of the Thatta city at the intake point of the K-IV project by helicopter.

They visited the site of the mouth of the project, the canal, the conduits and the bridges constructed so far and also got a briefing from the FWO engineers.