KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah convened a meeting on Friday to find a solution to the water woes of the city and vowed to complete K-IV water project.
The meeting decided to control 30 percent water losses which come to 174 MGD and control water theft through administrative measures. By the end of October another 100 MGD and 65 MGD water would be added in the system and by the time efforts would be made to complete K-IV project which has become a difficult task.
The multi-party and stakeholders conference was held here at the 7th floor of New Sindh Secretariat, which was attended by the government and opposition leaders as well as the members of the civil society.
The chief minister said that there was a serious issue of water in the city.
“In our system hardly 480 MGD water is available against a requirement of 1000 MGD,” he said and added it was something like half glass of water for some people.
“If we distribute it equitably everyone would be able to get a sip of water and if it is distributed inequitably then some people would extinguish their thirst and others would die thirsty, this is the case in the city either we have to share the shortage or do favour to some people”.
He said that in order to find out a solution he had invited multi-party conference in which political and non-political stakeholders were participating.
The official population of the city is 17 million and daily requirement of water at the rate of 45 gallons per person per day comes to 918 MGD.
Feasibility study of K-IV project was carried out in 2007 at a cost of Rs25.5 billion. In the study, nine routes of the project were worked out, of them the eights one via Dhabeji was selected based on being technically most feasible and most economical route.
The PC-I for K-IV project (phase-I) for 130 MGD was prepared in 2007 and subsequently decided to carry out K-IV project in three phases, phase-I of 260 MGD, II of 260 and phase-III of 130 MGD.
In CDWP PC-I was rationalized and the cost of land acquisition of Rs5 billion was excluded from the project.
The project was approved at the basis of 50:50 sharing between Sindh and the federal governments in 2014 at Rs25.2 billion which was originally cost conceived in 2007.
It means after seven years the project cost was made static.
In 2016, the Sindh government just to expedite the project awarded the contract to FWO.
The FWO’s initial bid was Rs42 billion for complete work of K-IV phase-I as per PC-I, excluding ancillary works, essential components such as bridges, staff colonies, workshop, power supply and augmentation because they were not part of the PC-I.
Now, there were some important issues such as bridged have been excluded from the PC-I so how it would be possible to construct the line without giving a bridge where it is required.
It has two different points where hydraulic modeling was required. Therefore, the project has been given for third-party verification of design to NESPAK.
The chief minister said that the FWO has given a proposal for construction of 650 MGD conveyance system as a one-time activity instead of constructing three different canals.
He added that the other issues were installation of 50 MW power plant required for pumping stations, construction of colonies for the staff, carrying out electrical and mechanical works and launching of augmentation project. All these components would require huge funds. Therefore, he has started talking with the World Bank.
Murad disclosed that the World Bank had agreed to finance the project on the condition of revamping of KWSB.
Once the project was approved by the World Bank and the NESPAC submitted its report the revised PC-I of the project would be submitted to the federal government for approval.
The input of stakeholders: Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi said that the water board would have to reduce its water losses which were huge where 174 MGD water was wasting every day. He suggested improving transparency and governance in the water board.
Khwaja Izhar said that the solution to the present crisis lied in stopping water theft. He suggested registration of FIRs against water theft.
Mayor Waseem Akhtar said that even if K-IV project was completed the water board would not be able to provide water to the citizens because the water distribution system was very defective and obsolete. He suggested re-construction of new infrastructure of the water distribution system.
Former mayor Mustafa Kamal said that in the entire 130 km strip of K-IV the most expensive work is of pumping water.
He added that out of 130 km strip water would flow in gravity within 80 km and then while for the remaining area a pumping was required.
He said that out of 660 MGD water only five MGD water was the requirement of Bahria but a hue and cry has been made in such a way as if the entire project has been diverted there.
He suggested the chief minister start augmentation project in his Karachi package schemes. He said that water lines must be laid under every road which was being reconstructed under Karachi package.