World Bank to finance Yellow Line

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KARACHI: With efforts of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, the World Bank has agreed to provide financial and technical support to finance BRT Yellow Line and provide expertise and technical support to establish integrated BRT system of different lines.

This decision was taken in a high-level meeting held here at CM House Tuesday between Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and his team and World Bank delegation led by its Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan. The members of the delegation include Ms. Melinda Good, Manager Operations, Mr. Enrique Blanco Armas, Lead Country Economist, Mr. Said Dahdah, Senior Transport Specialist, Mr. Muhammad Waheed, Senior Economist, Ms. Amena Raja, and Operation Officer. The chief minister was assisted by Minister P&D Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Secretary Sohail Rajput, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, Health Secretary Fazal Pechuho, Education Secretary Aziz Uqaili, Special Secretary Irrigation Junaid Memon, Secretary Agriculture Sajid Jamal abro, Secretary Livestock & Fisheries Mukhtiar Soomro, Secretary Energy Agha Wasif, Secretary P&D Ms. Shireen Narejo and MD STEVTA.

The meeting reviewed the overall $1.55 portfolio of the World Bank under which 12 different projects are in progress. The projects in progress are Sindh Agricultural Growth Project $76.4 million, Sindh Irrigated Agri productivity of $187 million, Skill Development Project of $21 million, Second Sindh Education Sector project $400 million, Sindh Public Sector Management Reform $50 million, enhanced Nutrition for Mothers and Child $36.24 million, Sindh Response to Stunting $61.62 million, Sindh Resilience Project $100 million, Karachi Neighbour Improvement Project $86 million, Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project $286.24 million and Sindh Barrage Improvement $188 million.

Special Secretary Irrigation Juanid Memon told the meeting that the Sindh government has initiated Sindh Barrages Improvement Project- Rehabilitation and Modernization of Guddu Barrage with the assistance of the World Bank for Rs20, 241 million in which World Bank gives Rs18,271 million while the remaining amount of Rs1970 would be shared by Sindh government.

The project has three main components, rehabilitation of Guddu Barrage, improvement of Barrage operation and project management. The work on the project was delayed due to some legal issues but now work has been started.

P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem talking about Sindh water sector improvement project said that the project has achieved availability of water of 1.17 million hectares, benefiting over 380,000 farm-families.

The chairman P&D gave progress on all the on-going World Bank funded projects and said that he has been reviewing their progress time to time.

The World Bank Transport Specialists, Mr Said Dahdah gave detailed briefing the chief minister on different BRT Lines said that  there was dire need to develop an integrated system for all the BRT Lines. There should be an integrated system for bus operation for all the line and an intelligent ticketing system is developed.

The World Bank chief said that they were ready to finance Yellow Line BRT if the provincial government develops its road infrastructure right from Dawood Chowrangi of Korangi area to Malir Expressway. On this the chief minister said that he has already approved rehabilitation of the road in new Karachi package of Rs12 billion. “It would be your great support if you finance Yellow Line and provide technical support for the project,” he said.

The chief minister directed Chairman P&D to prepare necessary documentation and submit the same to the WB for necessary approval.

The chief minister also urged the World Bank Transport Specialist to provide technical support to regulate traffic issues in the City. “This megalopolis city Karachi witnesses traffic jams and traffic management issues,” he said and added that he was keen to resolve them. “We have a traffic engineering bureau in KDA but it also needs to be revived,” he said.

The WB country chief agreed to the chief minister’s proposal and said his transport specialists would be with Sindh government when they want him. On this the chief minister directed the P&D Chairman to arrangement his visit next week and hold his meetings with the transport and traffic engineering department. “I want you to sit with the expert and develop a proper signal system, traffic management and infrastructure development, if needed for the purpose,” he said.

The chief minister also said that he has a plan to restructure Karachi water & sewerage board. The sewerage system of the city has already been approved in a WB-assisted project. “The KWSB is over staffed, their water supply, distribution and bulk systems ae weak and defective,” he said and added he was committed to stand it once again on its feet, therefore he need the technical support of the World Bank.

The WB country chief agreed to the proposal and said he would develop sewerage system of the city if the water board is rehabilitated. He also agreed to extend his full support for the purpose.

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