Murad approve Rs 6bn Ghotki-Ghouspur bridge on River Indus

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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved new alignment of Ghouspur-Kandhkot bridge on River Indus under which 2.7 km would be reduced and Rs916 million would also be saved from the project of the cost.

This approval he accorded today while presiding over a meeting here at the CM House. The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Imdad Pitafi, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, Secretary Works Aijaz Memon, senior officers of Public Private Partnership Unit and the consultants.

Minister for P&D said that t the original alignment of the bridge on River Indus was between Ghotki and Kandhkot.The bid were issued against which 20 bidders, national and international had participated. By the time, the chief minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah recommended that the approach road from Ghotki to Kandhkot be changed to Ghotki toGhouspur.

He said that bised on the decision of the chief minister, the advisory consortium’s scope of work was revised to rework the construction cost estimates and update the financial model while retaining the same transaction structure. Mr Bijarani said that there was a dire need to revise the alignment with a five-km long link rtoad to provide a connection to Thul Riad which would carry traffic from Jacobabad and Balochistan.

Replying to a question of chief minister the consultant said that preliminary geometric of design of new alignment on satellite image of five km link road connect Thul road have been made. The financial model has also been updated.

The chief minister was told that the previous alignment was 34.7 km while the new alignment of Ghotki-Ghouspur is 32 km and it would save 2.7 km. The length of previous bridge was 2000 meter while the bridge on the new alignment is 1200 meter. This also save 800 kms length of the bridge. The cost of previous alignment was Rs6,952 million while the cost of new alignment would be RS6,036 million which would save Rs916 million.

The chief minister discussed the new alignment at length with the participants, engineers, and with Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani who belongs to District Kandhkot-Kashmore.The chief minister approved the new alignment and directed the PPP Unit to issue `Request for Proposal’ (RFP) and invite international tenders within a week so that work on the project could be started with in three months.

He directed the Works department to take experts of irrigation department with them while executing the project.

Talking about financial model and structure, the chief minister was told that the pricincial governmet would pay 14 percent equity while private partners would have to put 16 percent equity and 70 percent would be the debt. On this Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem said that the Asian Bank was also interested to finance the project. The chief minister said that he had held a meeting with ADB in which they were ready to finance the project.

“I am keen to put its foundation stone by the ned of December 2017 so that it can be completed within three years,” he said. NNI

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