Since the progress of the entire country is dependent on the progress of Karachi, the city needs to be developed faster for which the Sindh government has been making all out efforts by utilising local resources as well as seeking help from donor agencies.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said this on Friday as he met an eight-member delegation of a Chinese state-owned company, Energy China, led by its president Luo Bixiong at the CM House.
The CM said he was committed to making Karachi a liveable and peaceful city. He discussed with the delegation various possible collaborations between the Sindh government and the Chinese company in the water sector.
The meeting discussed the K-IV bulk water supply project which had been halted temporarily to make necessary changes in its design. “The national engineering firm, Nespak, is working on its design and as soon as it is finalised, work would be started,” Shah said as her termed the K-IV a very important project for the city.
The CM pointed out that Karachi was the city of 17 million people and its water requirement had been estimated at 1,200 million gallons per day (MGD) but it was receiving only 500 MGD. “We are working on different options to increase bulk water supply to the city so that its domestic as well as industrial requirements could be met,” he said.
The two sides discussed different options for working together. It was said that the Hub River source conveyance system had flaws, due to which line losses were recorded much higher than the acceptable level. The Chinese company showed interest in improving the system.
On the CM’s request, the Chinese firm agreed to work out details, including an estimated cost, for a 100 MGD desalination plant in Karachi. It was pointed out that in the past, the desalination technology was not economical but now the latest technology was relatively cheap and more efficient.
The third proposal that came under discussion was about treatment of wastewater in the Malir River so that it could be used for industrial use. The Chinese company said they would work out a plan for the treatment of wastewater.
The delegation was told that the provincial government was working with the Frontier Works Organisation on the first phase of the K-IV project. The Chinese firm showed interest in the second and third phases of the project and proposed that if the project’s cost was too high, it could be included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.
The CM told the delegation that the Sindh government was working in the infrastructure, water and sanitation, and energy sectors as investment could be attracted only when such sectors were developed. “When you have best infrastructure, water and energy in surplus, the investors will automatically throng to invest here,” he said.
He also directed the planning & development department to have another meeting with the Chinese firm to firm up recommendations for working together in the water sector.
Food processing sector
In another meeting with Netherlands Ambassador Willem Wouter Plomp, the CM discussed with him investment opportunities in the food processing industry in Karachi. The ambassador said Dutch investors were keen on working in Sindh in the food processing sector.
They also discussed investment opportunities in agriculture, animal husbandry and production of highbred seeds. The CM and the ambassador agreed to arrange a meeting of Dutch investors with the Sindh investment department.