ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development, met under the Chairmanship of Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhaddi, was informed that due to delay in execution of Right Bank outfall Drain (RBOD-II) the cost of the project has been increased from the early Rs14 billion to Rs62 billion.

The committee discussed the steps taken by the authorities concerned to improve conditions of Right Bank outfall Drain (RBOD) and Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) besides reviewing the current status of greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme (K-IV & K-III). It was informed that the project of RBOD has three components. The RBOD-I & RBOD-III were being executed by Wapda whereas the RBOD-II was being executed by Irrigation Department and Sindh government.

The Sindh Irrigation Department secretary informed that the original cost of RBOD-II was Rs14 billion. However, the cost of the project has escalated to Rs62 billion. He briefed the committee about the hurdles being faced in the implementation of the project. The committee chairman and members were of the view that the project is highly important for Sindh as the effluents were polluting Manchar Lake and posing environmental threats to the adjoining areas.

The committee called for early resolution of the issues and called upon the federal as well as provincial authorities to work in close collaboration and take practical steps for completing the project. The Ministry of Planning & Development secretary informed that the provincial departments have been taken on board and efforts are underway to resolve the issues related to funding. He assured the committee that a way forward would be worked out to amicably resolve the matters related to funding while working closely with the Sindh government.

The Wapda official gave a detailed overview of the RBOD-II and RBOD-III. Regarding LBOD, the Irrigation secretary informed that the project was originally constructed by Wapda on the left Bank of river Indus in between Rohri Canal and Nara Canal to relieve water logging and salinity. It was informed that the LBOD system was damaged by floods and many breaches were sustained by the system. He said that due to failure of Cholri weir and Tidel Link Canal, fresh water lakes have become saline and people of the area have been displaced. The Irrigation secretary also informed the committee about the rehabilitation work and restoration of old dhoras to drain out flood water.

The meeting was attended by Senators Saeedul Hassan Mandokhel, Agha Shahbaz Khan Durrani, Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, Shery Rehman and Karim Ahmad Khawaja besides Ministry of Planning and Development secretary and senior officers of the provincial government.