Sindh launches five infrastructure projects

KARACHI: Sindh government will launch five infrastructure projects regarding energy, transport and public sector in the province in 2014.

The projects include Bus Rapid Transit System-Yellow Line, Intercity Bus Project, Modern Grain Storage Facility, Khairpur Khajoor Mandi and Khairpur Waste to Energy Power Project.

An event under the banner of ‘road show on infrastructure projects under public private partnership (PPP) mode’ was organized by Sindh Board of Investment, Finance Department at a local hotel on Thursday. Several experts from multinationals, secretaries of the provincial government and foreign dignitaries also participated in the event, organized at a local hotel.

Talking to media, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh on Finance, Umar Rehman, said that the government had invited several local and foreign private entrepreneurs to invest their money in provincial projects.

He said that it was the responsibility of the government to provide security to the investors. “We have assured investors of providing a high level security to them so that they could feel safe and invest more money in the province.” He said that these projects would be helpful in creating more jobs in the province.

Giving presentation on Bus Rapid Transport System, an official of PPP Unit, Tansir Aijazi, said that the there was 4.5 percent public transport for 42 percent of the people travelling through buses. He said that in order to reduce this congestion, the provincial government had decided to initiate an intra-city bus project which would comprise of six corridors. “Initially, a yellow line corridor of 26 km would be established. The initial point of this corridor would be Dawood Chowrangi and it will conclude at Numaish Chowrangi.”

Shedding a light on intercity bus project, Director PPP Unit, Ali Sibtain said that several buses would be run on five proposed routes, linking Karachi to Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah, Sukkur and Larkana. The project would include maintenance and operation of bus fleet, ensuring service quality and operation of bus depots. He said that fares would be regulated by provincial government while a subsidy would be given to the investors.

Sibtain said that the investor participating in the project would have advantage over other private vehicle owners as provincial government would bear any hike in fuel and bus fare rate.

Giving briefing on Modern Grain Storage Facility Project, Naveed Rajput, said that the current functional wheat storage capacity in Sindh was insufficient and was resulting in an annual shortage of 700,000 metric tonnes. He said that five storage facilities of upto 50,000 metric tonnes would be established in Karachi, Ghotki, Sanghar, Khairpur and Benazirabad.

He said that if possible, the government would also provide some capital for development of the infrastructure while a bonus would be given to investor if the project completed before time. “In case of delay, the government would also charge penalty,” he said.

Elaborating the Khairpur Khajoor Mandi Project, Director General PPP Unit, Mujtaba Shahneel, said that an 89 acre plot on National Highway in District Khairpur was proposed for the site. He said that old Khajoor Mandi was not sufficient to provide facilities especially during peak season of date production.

“Subsidy will be given to old shop owners of Khajoor Mandi and government will provide new facilities at the mandi including dry and cold storage facilities.”

He also shed a light on Khairpur waste energy project which would provide power to the Khairpur Economic Zone (KSEZ) and the Khairpur Khajoor Mandi project.

The project will generate 20 megawatts of electricity through four-multi-fuel boilers based on steam turbines of five megawatts each run on combination of municipal solid waste, agriculture waste, rice husk, wheat husk, date trimming, cotton wastage, etc, and industrial waste, including fabric, fibre, plastic waste, etc.

The participants were informed that Sindh would be the first one to utilise the industrial and household waste to produce electricity in Pakistan.

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