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CM Murad seeks alternate to Sukkur barrage


Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has urged the World Bank to provide technical assistance to conduct a feasibility study for the construction of an alternate to the 89-year-old Sukkur barrage. “This feasibility study component is a part of the World Bank sponsored Sindh Barrage Improvement Project. We are seriously considering constructing the new barrage as an alternate of the old Sukkur barrage which is the lifeline of agro-economy of the province,” the CM said.
According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s House on Friday, Shah was speaking during a virtual meeting with World Bank Country Director Najy Binhassine.
The chief minister said the Sukkur Barrage was commissioned in 1932 and had now run its natural course. He added that Sukkur barrage was the lifeline of the province and it was supplying water to seven major canals, including three right bank and four left bank canals.
The irrigation minister told the World Bank country director that the provincial government was seriously thinking of constructing an alternate barrage for which a feasibility study was required.
The chief minister added that there was a component of conducting a feasibility study of the Sukkur Barrage in the improvement project. The WB country director told the chief minister that the experts of his organisation would visit the barrage soon.
He added that after the visit and necessary discussion, technical assistance would be provided to the Sindh government for preparation of the PC-1 of the project.
Hydraulic boundaries to be developed
Meanwhile, CM’s Adviser on Agriculture Manzoor Wassan, briefing the meeting about a six-year Sindh water and agriculture transformation project, said hydraulic boundaries would be developed in 22 districts, including Hyderabad, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, TM Khan, Sukkur, Ghotki, Dadu, Larkana, Jamshoro, Jacobabad, Kashmore-Kandhkot, Qambar ShadadKot, Khairpur, Umerkot, Sajawal, Nowsheroferoz, Matiyari, Tando Allah Yar, Shikarpur, Thatta and Shaheed Benazirabad from January 2022.
He added that this would boost the rural economy and promote sound water resource management. Wassan added the objective would be to achieve agricultural development, economic growth and environmental sustainability.
Read More: Scores of fish ‘killed by poisoning’ in Sukkur Barrage canals
The project is aimed at increasing agricultural water productivity, which could be achieved through integrated water resources management (IWRM) under the Sindh Irrigation and Agriculture Project, the chief minister said.
This project entails the remodelling and rehabilitation of Akram Wah. Feasibility studies of the NW Canal, Rice Canal, Dadu Canal and Warah Branch would be conducted to improve water service delivery.
KWSB reforms
Meanwhile, the meeting was told Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIP) is being launched with the assistance of the World Bank for $1.6 million to improve infrastructure of the water board and introduce reforms.
Local Government Minister Nasir Shah told the meeting that consultants were being hired to study institutional reforms in KWSB. A study would be conducted into the matters of human resource, feasibility management study, and revenue improvement and communication strategy.
The consultants would start their study in February 2022. Under the project, 14 pairs of sewage suction and jetting trucks have been procured and handed over to KWSB.
Another batch of 14 pairs of sewage suction and jetting trucks, with 10 combined S&J trucks, would be procured next year before the monsoon.
Human capital project
Moreover, the meeting was informed that the Sindh Human Capital Project of Rs4.57 billion has five different components, including reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) services. The chief minister said that the concept clearance proposal (CCP) of the project has been approved by the CDWP and now a formal request would be sent to the World Bank for approval.
The WB country director said that the project would be considered for approval by his organisation’s board.
The meeting was attended by CM’s Agriculture Adviser Manzoor Wassan, Local Government Minister Nasir Shah, Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro, and Special Assistant to CM on Social Sector Haris Gazdar, Planning and Development Chairperson Hassan Naqvi, Local Government Secretary Najam Shah, Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi, Agriculture Secretary Parvaiz Sihar, Finance Secretary Asif Jahangir, irrigation Secretary Suhail Qureshi and others.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2021.

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