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October 6, 2019

CM meets international consortium to find water, transport solutions for Karachi


October 6, 2019

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in order to address Karachi’s burning issues of water and transport held two important meetings with AWDICO, a consortium of British and French companies, on Saturday and discussed a proposal for the installation of a water desalination plant and launching electric buses on the different BRTS routes in the city.

One of the meetings was attended by Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Shah, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, MD Water Board Asadullah Khan, rthe special secretary of local government and other concerned people of Sindh. The AWDICO company was represented by Annmarie Carberry, Jason Wright, Ashak Toufen, Alain GOTTESMAN and others.

Water issue

The chief minister said that he was struggling to resolve the water issue of the city.

“The most urgent solution lies in the desalination of the sea water and to provide to the city,” he said.

The AWDICO company presented an offshore water desalination solution. They said that they had studied the water requirement of the city. They said that 265 MGD water could be supplied through the desalination plant. The said that the AWDICO would provide three barges, each with 100,000 m3/day production capacity and the total would come to 300,000 m3 per day. In the second phase, the company would deliver another fleet of three barges with the same capacity.

In third phase, it would have a capacity of 400,000 but each one barge would have 135,000 m3 per dya production capacity. The company held out the assurance that each phase would be completed within 18 months from the signing of the contract date.

The company said that AWDIC would sign a 25-uear agreement with the provincial government and it would operate on build-own and operate basis all the destination barges.

The chief minister directed the minister for local government and the Public-Private Partnership Unit to hold more meeting with AWDICO to work out water rate, their other requirements etc., so that necessary decision could be taken in time.

He also said that the provincial government would not be able to provide them electricity; therefore, they would have to install their own solar power plant of at least 50 MW.

The meeting with the company and the provincial government would start from Saturday (today) and would continue for at least next six days.

Transport issue

The Energy Global Venture (EGV) offered to make Karachi the leader in green public transport solutions. It offered to invest in modern high-tech electric fleet of buses to service public transport.

The company offered to provide a 24-hour public transport solution to transform the city transport. They said that they would start their operation by investing in 1,000 electric buses which would run on the main roads and on different routes of BRT.

The EGV also vowed that they would adopt more routes of BRT Lines as per the development plan that needed to be agreed between the Sindh government and the company.

To a query of the chief minister, the EGV people said that 1,000 buses would be started within 12 months when the agreement was signed and another 10,000 more electric buses would be added to the fleet within the next five years.

The target is to provide transport for upto 400,000 passengers per day after first year and over two million people per day which would be achieved in five years.

The chief minister said that the construction of the Abdul Sattar Edhi Line project was almost in its final stage.

He asked them to visit the corridor and inspect its infrastructure. “If the infrastructure is good enough to ply electric buses I will invite you,” he told the EGV.

Shah said that he would give them a separate land for the installation of a 100MW solar power plant for charging electric buses.

“We can work together if EGV experts hold separate meetings with the World Bank and the Asian Bank, who are our partners, so that ongoing development of the infrastructure of the BRT can be made accordingly, if agreed,” he said.

The chief minister directed the transport department, the Sindh Investment Department and the P&D chairperson to have a

meeting with the EGV people and firm up their recommendations and submit him a report within the next 15 days.

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