‘Water crisis, solid waste management and public transport among top priorities’
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Tuesday that issues pertaining to water crisis, solid waste management and public transport were among the top priorities of his government.
The chief minister met United States Consul General in Karachi JoAnne Wagner along with a delegation of USAID officers at the Chief Minister’s House. CM Shah was assisted by Planning and Development Chairman Mohammad Waseem and Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput.
The chief minister said that water crisis was a big issue of Sindh, adding that his government was planning to install a desalination plant in Karachi, while construction of a K-IV bulk water supply project was already in progress. He said the ongoing crisis would be resolved through proper installation of water-supply schemes and reverse osmosis (RO) plants.
Talking about disposal of solid waste in the city, CM Shah informed the delegation that some Chinese companies were involved in sweeping the city’s litter. He said that the government was planning to install a power generation plant where waste/garbage would be utilsed. “The government has chalked out a plan to give a landfill site to a power generation company and install a power plant on public-private partnership mode.
As far as public transport issue in the city was concerned, the chief minister said, it would be resolved through the Karachi Circular Railway and launching of different bus rapid transit (BRT) systems.
The US consul general and the chief minister discussed USAID-funded Sindh Municipal Services Project (MSP), a $66 million programme to improve service delivery to better address urban needs. The CM was informed that nearly 70 percent of project funding would go towards upgradation of municipal infrastructure.
MSP’s main project included the Jacobabad Municipal Project, a $36 million project to bring about necessary improvements to the ageing and dysfunctional water supply, sanitation and solid waste infrastructure in the small city of northern Sindh. The Jacobabad Municipal Project would deliver clean drinking water to more than 250,000 people, improve health and hygienic conditions and create sustainable sewage and garbage management system.
The chief minister said that his government has approved $5 million to complete the associated aspects of the project.
Another programme that came under discussion was the Sindh Basic Education Programme. The USAID was providing a comprehensive package of $55 million to increase and sustain student enrolment in primary, middle, secondary schools in seven districts of northern Sindh and five towns of Karachi.
Under the programme 106 new schools were being constructed in flood-affected and other targeted districts and construction of 58 schools was almost in the final stages. The chief minister and the visiting guests agreed to monitor the progress of these projects to ensure its timely completion.