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CM Sindh, WB Country Chief discusses progress of $3.2bn projects

KARACHI: Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday, met with a team from the World Bank, led by Country Director Mr. Najy Benhassine and discussed the progress of 13 active projects worth $3.2 billion that are being assisted by the World Bank.

So far, 40 per cent or $1.33 billion has been disbursed and they agreed to speed up the work on these projects by removing bottlenecks to ensure their timely completion.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers- Dr Azra Pechuho, Nasir Shah, Saeed Ghani, Mohammad Bux Maher, Jam Khan Shoro, Chief Secretary Asif Hyder Shah, Chairman P and D Najam Shah, PSCM Agha Wasif, Secretary Finance Fayaz Jatoi and other concerned secretaries. The World Bank team members include Operation Manager Mr Gailius J Draugelis, Senior Transport Specialist Mr Lincoln, Kamran Akbar, Syed Usman and others.

Chairman P and D Najam Shah with the support of the concerned minister gave a detailed briefing to the meeting.

Karachi Mobility: The project has three components, including a Cm Sindh $177 million development of Road infrastructure for the Yellow Line Corridor, $260 million for its operationalisation and $6 million for capacity building and technical assistance.

Minister Transport Sharjeel Memon told the meeting that under road infrastructure development for the Yellow Line two bridges (Jam Sadiq Bridges) are being constructed. He disclosed that the construction of the bridge Design-Build Contract has been signed with a firm and preliminary works have been started and the major works would be started by June 15.

The transport minister said that as far as the operationalisation of the BRT System- Yellow Line is concerned the proposal for the Development of Depots has been submitted to the World Bank and it has issued NOC for technical evaluation. He said that the combined report would be ready by the end of this month- April 2024.

The meeting was told that the BRT Yellow Line corridor has been divided into two lots -13 km and 21km respectively. The Designs and bidding documents were under preparation and would be submitted to the Bank by May 30. The Requests for bids are scheduled for July 15, 2024.

Competitive and Liveable City of Karachi (CLICK): The CLICK project has five components which include Performance-based Grants to Local Councils and Capacity Building, Modernizing Urban Property Tax Administration and System, Improvement of Business Environment, Technical Assistance for Solid Waste Management and Emergency Response Component.

Minister Local Government Saeed Ghani told the meeting that all the necessary approvals of the project have been made from the concerned forums and the project restructuring is anticipated by the end of this month- April.

As far as Emergency Response Component is concerned Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab told the meeting that they have been completed.

The meeting was told that performance-based grants to local councils and their capacity building have been delayed but was being fast-tracked. Minister P and D Nasir Shah said that the procurement of $9.68 million works has been completed and is awaiting restructuring for the award. He added that the design of Town Municipal Committee works of $22.5 million were under process.

Solid Waste Emergency and Efficiency Project (SWEEP): The SWEEP components include Immediate Emergency Response Interventions, Development of SWM Backbone Infrastructure i.e. Garbage transfer station and landfill site and Project Management and Implementation Support.

The meeting was told that work has been award for the construction of waste transfer stations and landfill sites. The work would be completed within 15 months – June 2025. The procurement for the landfill site development contract is on track. The consultant is on board and the survey is in progress. The detailed design would be c and would be completed by June 2024. The Terms of Reference (TOR) for Technical design consultants for Dhabeji are approved and procurement will be initiated by April 15, 2024.

The TOR for Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIAs) of Dhabeji and Gondpass landfill sites are under World Bank review. Similarly, the ESIAs for Industrial and medical waste treatment facilities are under world bank review.

Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIP): The KWSSIP has three components – Operational Reform of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board Corporation, its Infrastructure Investments, and Project Management and Studies.

The Economic and Financial Analysis of all its three components was completed last month and PC- I will be submitted to the Local Government Department. Out of 61 procurement activities, only 8 are yet to be procured. The target timeline would be met subject to the contract for the supply of Bulk/Consumer flow meters for which the bank has been requested to advise.

External Audit of financial year 2008 to 2018 was completed and Audit reports till 2018 have been shared with the World Bank. Afresh auditor has been appointed for the audit for 2018 – 2023. Accounts of KW and SC are streamlined as per the requirements of the Auditor.

The CM said that the Synchronisation of K-IV main (execution by WAPDA) and KBFU rehabilitation (execution by Irrigation Department) is seen as a prerequisite for K-IV augmentation works by WB. Reportedly bid opening of KBFU rehabilitation work is delayed. Also, K-IV’s main completion date of June 2025 is dependent upon the provision of funding by the Federal Government

Sindh Solar Energy Project (SSEP): To increase solar power generation and access to electricity in the province the SSEP project has been launched. The project has four components 0- establishment of solar parks, solarisation of public buildings, solar home system, and capacity building and technical assistance.

Minister Energy Nasir Shah told the meeting that out of 34 sites for solarization of public buildings, installations on 33 sites have been completed, of them four sites are under the testing phase to be commissioned; one site will be completed shortly.

The bid evaluation for bulk procurement for the Solar Home System has been cleared and the Framework agreement with six firms will be completed by May 2024.

As far as the establishment of Solar Parks is concerned, the meeting was told that a new contract was being prepared with the support of the World Bank.

Sindh Early Learning Enhancement through Classroom Transformation (SELCT): To improve the reading skills of early-grade primary students and increase student attention in primary schools in selected districts the SELECT project has been launched.

The meeting was told that a firm has been hired to conduct the early Garde reading assessment baseline survey from first week of May 2024. Under the project about 600 schools would be reconstructed/rehabilitated, of them survey of 300 schools have been completed.

Sindhi Integrated Health and Population Project (SIHPP): The project has been launched to improve the utilisation and quality of basic Reproductive Maternal, New-born, child and Adolescent Health plus Nutrition (RMNCAH+N)for poor and vulnerable populations, especially women and children in targeted areas of the province.

The project has different components including Public health emergency response to combat health impact due to the floods, Strengthening/rehabilitating of health facilities providing preventive care, Strengthening of referral hospitals for effective delivery and neonatal care, Strengthening demand for Maternity, Neonatal and Child Health Care services, including women’s empowerment for availing health services.

Minister Health Dr Azra Pechuho told the meeting that the CM has approved funds to release operational costs to 50 PPHI dispensaries. She said that 60 ambulances have been provided to the health facilities, and 30 mobile medical vans and five mobile laboratories would be delivered by the end of this month.

Sindh Water and Agriculture Transformation Project (SWAT): CM Murad Ali Shah said that the SWAT project has been launched to increase agricultural water productivity in selected Farmers’ Organization Command areas, improve integrated water resources management, and contribute the restoring crop production by small and medium-sized farmers affected by the flood 2022.

Minister irrigation Jam Khan Shoro said that TOR for water Resource Management and budget estimates for technical assistance for Hydro Agro informatics two implementation partners- Mehran University and the Bangladesh CEIGS Institute are under finalisation.

Design review, construction supervision and contract management of rehabilitation works of Akram Wah Canal was signed on January 14, 2024 between SIDA and the consultants and the consultants are mobilized.

Sindh Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project (SFERP): The chief minister said that the project has been launched to rehabilitate damaged infrastructure and provide short-term livelihood opportunities in selected areas of the province affected by the floods of 2022 and to strengthen the Sindh govt capacity to respond the impacts of climate change and natural hazards.

Mr Shah said that Contracts for 114 roads have been awarded and works are ongoing for $350 million. He added that 224 Emergency Response vehicles (ERVs) to Rescue 1122 had been approved and delivery was yet to be made.

He said that rehabilitation of the Buddu and Sukkur barrages launched for $286 million was in progress.

Housing Project: Murad Shah said that to deliver beneficiary-driven, multi-hazard resilient reconstruction of core housing units affected by floods in 2022 in selected districts for $470 million. The construction of over 100,000 have been completed and work on over 200,000 was in progress.

The chief minister also discussed the Sindh Resilience Project, the Sindh Livestock and Aquaculture Sectors Transformation Project with the World Band team and agreed to speed up work on them.