KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday approved construction of Korangi Crossing and Hub Canal rehabilitation projects and directed the Local Government department to complete both the projects within a year.

He gave approval while presiding over a meeting in the city here at CM House to review different projects planned to be launched. The meeting was attended by Minister Local Government Syed Nasir Shah, Administrator KMC Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, Secretary Finance Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Local Govt Najam Shah, Special Secretary to CM Rahim Shaikh and Additional Secretary Finance Asad Zaim.

At the outset of the meeting, the Chief Minister said that Korangi Crossing causeway needed a bridge. “The existing causeway submerges during monsoon seasons, therefore, the people of Korangi and Malir face serious problems,” he said and added that with the construction of a bridge, 28 percent population of Korangi and Malir would be facilitated,” he added.

The Chief Minister was told that there were two options for construction of the bridge. The first one was to construct a four-lane bridge and the other one was to construct a six-lane. But, the chief minister said that it must be six lanes so that it could cater to the requirement of the areas for next 20 years.

The local government said that it would cost around Rs5 billion and would be completed within two years. The CM directed the local government to complete it within a year and start its work on top priority basis. “I would provide you funds just to go into tendering,” he said. Secretary Local Government Najam Shah said that the life of the bridge would be 80 years and it would be a 1.6km bridge. The CM approved the project.

Jam Sadiq Bridge: The chief minister directed P&D department to prepare a scheme to overhaul the Jam Sadiq Bridge. It should also be started within the next three months. The world bank’s proposed alternate bridge would also be constructed for BRT bus service. Hub Canal Project: Minister Local Govt Nasir Shah told the chief minister that the Hub canal project included construction of Hub Canal (canal plus pipe hybrid) water conveyance from Hub Dam and Rehabilitation of Hub filtration plant, enhancing its capacity from 80 to 100 MGD operation and maintenance of the canal and pipe would cost Rs14 billion.

The chief minister was told that the project would be started on PPP mode and would be completed within two years. The chief minister said that the launching of the project on PPP mode would take time, therefore, his government would finance the project with the condition to complete it within a year. “If a private party came over to work on the project on partnership basis, the funds utilized by the Sindh government would be turned into bridge finance, but the project could not be delayed,” he said.

The local government assured the CM that the project would be completed within a year. The CM directed the finance department to arrange funds meanwhile the local government would start tendering work.

65 MGD project: The chief minister was told that the 65 MGD Bulk Water Supply project would start from Keejhar Gujju Canal to high point, including construction of Gharo water pumping stations. Nasir Shah said that the project would cost around Rs9 billion, therefore, the scheme had been revised.

The chief minister directed the local government department to start the project and arrange the funds. “This city needs water, and we cannot delay water projects,” he said. He directed the department to start the tendering process so that work could be started in time. Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) Plant: Syed Nasir Shah told the chief minister that a five MGD sea water desalination plant project of KWSB had already been approved.

The plant would be installed at Ibrahim Hyderi in Korangi. He added that its feasibility was being conducted by a private firm and its pre-qualification document was ready for launch. At this, the chief minister directed the local government department to work out the cost of the project and the water per gallon so that it could be assessed. He added that if the cost of the production per gallon was feasible, more projects could be launched.

The chief minister directed the local government department to focus on the water board’s water distribution system. He said that it needed to be improved on water footings.