Stalled K-IV water project may see further delay

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A member of the Karachi Water and Sewage Board (KWSB)has attempted to alter the path of decision-making on a mega water project for the city. He has insisted that the matter of building a canal be referred to a higher-level Steering Committee which is represented by more senior bureaucrats. The Sindh government has been grappling with the K-IV project that has been stalled since 2018 because of major problems. It formed a technical committee and a sub-committee with experts and bureaucrats to come up with solutions so the canal gets built.First the design of K-IV was sent to Nespak for an independent evaluation. When Nespak came back with a damning report, Osmani challenged it. The canal was originally designed by Osmani & Co and was being built by the FWO.Oddly enough, the technical committee rejected Nespak’s criticism and instead asked Osmani & Co to only make some changes but stick with the same old route.When the KW&SB met on May 19, however, a board member, Suleman Chandio, who is also a former KW&SB MD, raised strong concerns over the technical and sub-technical committee reports and the conclusions. Chandio felt that the chairman and secretary of both committees were not water experts and were not fully aware of the ground realities of the project. The technical committee was headed by LG Secretary Roshan Ali Shaikh as chairman and KWSB MD Asadullah Khan was secretary. Chandio did not understand why Nespak’s criticism had been set aside even though it warned the route to bring Keenjhar lake’s water to Karachi was not “feasible”. “Despite this, the technical/sub-technical committees in their final report allowed Osmani & Co to go with the same design along with some modification,” he said. The KW&SB members agreed with Chandio and decided to refer the case to the Steering Committee. This was confirmed by two board members who were at that meeting. They said that Chandio emphatically stated that he felt that the technical/sub-technical committee findings were not “accurate” and the case should be presented before the Steering Committee for final approval.

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