Allocation of Rs2.6bn for S-III project ordered
By Azizullah Sharif
KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday ordered an allocation of Rs2.6 billion for the much-delayed Greater Karachi Sewage Treatment Project, commonly known as S-III, besides emphasising the need for completing the Lyari Expressway on a priority basis.
He also directed the authorities to start work on Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme (K-IV) and the Karachi Circular Railway without any delay.
The president issued such directives during a meeting with Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah in Islamabad on Tuesday, said a spokesman for the Sindh governor.
Sources said that other issues concerning ongoing development schemes also came under discussion at the high-level meeting.
Meanwhile, the managing director of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Misbahuddin Fareed, on being asked by Dawn as to how much time it would take now in initiating the much-delayed S-III project when an allocation of Rs2.6 billion had been announced by the president, said that the project could take off even in one month subject to availability of funds.
Mr Fareed, who is also project director of SIII, said that the entire project would cost Rs16 billion and it was scheduled to be implemented in three years.
Highlighting the importance of the project, he said that with the commissioning of the project, not only the city’s beaches and overall environment would considerably improve but the threat to marine life from increasing sea pollution would also subside considerably. The S-III was designed to improve the city’s environment, especially coastal areas and beaches, by ensuring treatment of over 411 million gallons of sewage on a daily basis, he said.
It may be pointed out that the S-III was scheduled to be launched in July 2010 and completed by Dec 2013. The inordinate delay in the execution of the project has doubled the project’s cost from Rs8 billion to Rs16 billion.
Sources in the KWSB, however, told Dawn that work on the K-IV project could not be initiated unless the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) gave the province an additional 1,200 cusecs of water from the Indus so that the provincial government could allocate it for Karachi.
Highlighting the significance of the K-IV, the sources said that with its commissioning not only would the city be able to offset its current shortfall of 200mgd but it would also be able to meet its water needs for the next 50 years.
The K-IV project is aimed at providing additional 640mgd of water by 2025 in three phases, each of 240mgd.