The Sindh government and the World Bank reached an understanding on Monday to begin working on projects, entailing investments of around $2 billion, to develop Karachi and make it one of the most beautiful cities of the world.
During a meeting at the CM House, the Sindh government delegation, headed by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, and the World Bank delegation, headed by its Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan, discussed the three projects. The documentation work is to be submitted for final approval to the World Bank.
Urban Mobility Project
Karachi Urban Mobility (KUMP) project, estimated to cost $400m, aims to improve urban mobility, especially for women, by increasing accessibility and ensuring road safety. Under this project, the infrastructure for the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) will be constructed.
World Bank experts will also conduct capacity building exercises for the officials of Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA) that will be managing the BRTS upon completion. The World Bank will also finance the rehabilitation of the roads, footpaths and develop other relevant infrastructure.
The CM said that Karachi was the most beautiful city and its beauty would flourish after its transport system is established. “We are working on KCR [Karachi Circular Railway] project, but even then there is a dire need for the urban transport system of BRT,” he said.
Illangovan agreed to take up the project and urged the transport department to furnish all the relevant documents, PC-I and other layout plans, with them so that it could be sent for final approval from their board.
Addressing water issues
The CM said that he wanted to turn KWSB into one the most efficient and effective service delivery institutions. He added that this would require restructuring of its entire water supply and drainage system.
At the request of the Sindh government, the World Bank studied the water issues confronting the people and developed Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIP), a $1.6 billion plan to resolve the problems. The purpose of the programme is to provide safe and reliable water and sewerage services and encourage private sector investment in water supply and waste water treatment plans.
World Bank experts said that KWSB required reforms in three sectors. Firstly, operational capacity for safe, sustainable and equitable water service delivery to all customers needed to be raised. Secondly, KWSB’s financial stability needed to be restored. The third reform was needed in the board’s governance and institutional operations.