ISLAMABAD: Rejecting the impression of abandoning mega projects in Karachi, Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar has said that the federal government fully stands by its commitments relating to the Greater Karachi Water Supply Project (K-IV).
According to a press release issued by planning ministry on Monday, the minister clarified that the project has been experiencing delays for quite some time due to design-related issues.
Replying to a question relating to the Sindh chief minister’s statement regarding the project’s ‘wrapping up’, Asad Umar said that the federal government has been regularly following up with the government of Sindh to move the project forward, however, the provincial authorities are yet to process the revised documentation.
He explained that the provincial government had engaged NESPAK to review the project’s original design.
“NESPAK completed the design review and submitted its report to Karachi Water & Sanitation Board (KWSB) after which the Sindh government, in November 2019, appointed a technical committee to scrutinise NESPAK’s report and suggest the way forward. The technical committee had submitted its report with the recommendation that work on the existing alignment may be resumed with necessary modifications soon after that,” he said.
“Therefore, it is clear that throughout this period, the progress of the K-IV project is awaiting the provincial government’s decision. The Ministry of Planning and Planning Commission has been constantly engaged with the Sindh government and have repeatedly asked the latter to process the revised project document, for early execution of the project,” he added.
Further, the minister said that the matter was also discussed during the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) held on June 10 this year wherein it was informed that the Planning Commission allocated the entire amount of remaining federal share for the project in PSDP 2020-21.
“Further resources could be considered once the revised PC-I of the project is made available,” he said.
The minister said that the federal government realised the significance of the K-IV project and was committed to playing its due role, however, the execution of the project remains in the provincial domain which needed to be expedited so that the citizens of Karachi could receive the water they badly need.
Later, Asad Umar also chaired a meeting to review progress on improvements in Islamabad’s water supply, especially in I-8 and I-10 sectors.
The meeting was attended by CDA SAPM Ali Nawaz Awan, Member of National Assembly (MNA) Raja Khurram Nawaz, Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) chief officer (CO) and other senior officials.
The meeting was informed that a number of steps in recent weeks had been taken to address the issue of shortage of water.
In this regard, leakages on the main conduction line on the way from Poonan Faqeeran to I-10/1 and on Simly water conduction lines had been fixed. Other measures being taken include the rehabilitation of public drinking water filtration plants and repair of existing and installation of new tube wells, non-functional water tankers had been repaired for emergencies while the department was also working on the elevation of a distribution channel (I-9) of the main line from Poona Faqiran for I-10’s improved flow of water.
It was also informed that action was also being taken against illegal water connections and that the water supply situation would substantially improve by the end of the current month.
Asad Umar directed the authorities to immediately remove illegal connections and take strict legal action against the culprits.
He said that work on various activities should be expedited to ensure an adequate supply of water to the residents during summer months, adding that sufficient financial resources had been made available to endure the resolution of this issue.