ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has referred the Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme (K-IV) worth Rs25.5 billion to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) for approval, according to the Ministry of Planning and Development.
The development came during a meeting of the CDWP chaired by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan. Senior officials from the Planning Commission and federal ministries participated in the meeting, while representatives from provincial governments participated through a video link.
Noting that there was “extraordinary delay in execution” of the K-IV project, designed with to meet the demand of 18.5 million inhabitants of Karachi city, the CDWP approved the change in ownership of the project from the Sindh government to the federal government. The execution agency of the project has now been taken from Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) of the government of Sindh and handed over to the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA).
However, the meeting was told that WAPDA could execute such projects as per the WAPDA Act, therefore, the sponsoring and executing agency was changed to ensure implementation of the project on a fast-track basis.
The Planning Commission deputy chairman emphasised that there is a severe water shortage in Karachi, which is why the project needs to be carried out on a fast track and all the agencies involved must prioritise the project.
The project had been approved by the ECNEC in 2014 on 50:50 cost-sharing between the federal and provincial governments at a total cost of Rs25.5 billion. As per the original schedule, the project should have been completed by November 2018. Yet, physical progress made on the project was 41pc while financial progress stood at 47pc.
In its documents, the Ministry of Planning has shown the revised estimated cost of the project at Rs60 billion.
It is pertinent to mention here that although the federal government approved the takeover, it did not make a decision on revising the scope and cost of the project amid slow progress on the Karachi transformation plan.
Moreover, three projects worth Rs5.52 billion were also approved during the meeting.