ISLAMABAD     -   The federal government has directed WAPDA to immediately takeover implementation responsibilities of Greater Karachi Water Supply Project (K-IV) and ensure its completion within the shortest possible time.

The directives were issued by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in a meeting here. The meeting was attended by Chairman WAPDA and senior officials of WAPDA to review progress on K-IV. 

The Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme (Phase-1) was approved by the ECNEC to supply 260 MGD of water to Karachi metropolitan which is being taken up for implementation by the federal government as part of Prime Minister’s package for Karachi. Under the financing mechanism, the cost of the project was shared by the federal and provincial governments on the basis of 50:50 percent. The project was being undertaken by the provincial government, however the federal government has taken over the responsibility under an arrangement with the provincial government. As a follow-up, Federal Minister Asad Umar wrote a letter to CM Sindh stating that the federal government was keen in implementation of K-IV project, as well as other projects at the earliest and wanted to work with the Sindh government to expedite the matter. 

The Minister directed WAPDA to immediately takeover implementation responsibilities of the project and complete it within the shortest possible time. He further directed to develop action plans with clear deadlines for its execution on fast pace.

The share of the federal government in Greater Karachi Water Supply Project (K-IV) is Rs.12.755 billion while the total expenditure (released by the federal government) up to June 20, 2020 is Rs.10.398 billion. The federal government has allocated Rs.800 million in the PSDP 2020-21. It is expected that after extending the scope of work of the project, its cost will further go up.

Meanwhile, chairing another meeting to review progress on implementation and institutional arrangements for achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, Federal Minister Asad Umar was briefed about the milestones achieved on SDGs. The meeting was informed that Pakistan had integrated the SDGs into its national development agenda. Task forces have been established in the national and provincial parliaments to review progress and facilitate legislative support for implementation. 

Seven SDGs support units have been instituted at the federal and provincial levels to facilitate vertical and horizontal coordination among stakeholders. Pakistan has determined baselines and targets for all SDG indicators, and data collection tools have been modified to improve data availability. 

Chief SDGs briefed the Planning Minister on implementation of SDGs in Pakistan, and progress on SDGs index. He said Pakistan had translated World Health Organisation’s guidelines on COVID19 in Braille and Sign language to facilitate all segment of the society. SDGs goals and targets have also been translated in Braile and Sign language. 

It was also noted that efforts were being made to bridge the data gaps for which surveys were being conducted by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. The Planning Minister instructed to operationalize the NEC sub-committee on SDGs and directed to convene a meeting to set the priorities.