Ahmed Ali Khushik

Dadu

A high-level mission of the World Bank (WB) visited the sites of Sukkur and Guddu Barrage on Tuesday to review the rehabilitation work going on there.

The WB mission comprises of Toru Konishi, Task Team Leader, Francois Onimus, Water Resources specialist, Ahmed Junaid Memon, consultant FAO-Food and agriculture, Chris Hall, Chief Resident Engineer and others.

The delegation was accompanied by senior officials of the Irrigation Department, including Guddu Barrage Chief Engineer Masood Ahmed Seehar and Sukkur Barrage Chief Engineer Irshad Ahmed Memon on the occasion.

The WB mission was briefed about the progress made so far on the rehabilitation of Guddu Barrage. The visitors appreciated working of the SBIP-Sindh.

The project involves replacement of 65 gates of main barrage and 25 gates of off-taking canals, including those of Ghotki Feeder, Begari Sindh Feeder and Pat Desert Feeder.

The World Bank mission also showed keen interest in the rehabilitation of Sukkur Barrage, which is considered the economic backbone not only of Sindh, but also of the entire country.

The World Bank has already approved the project in principle, and provides the financial assistance of $160 million for the replacement of the gates.

The Bank also supports modernization of the barrage with for the efficient operation and management.

The World Bank mission is also keen to preserve the local marine life such as Dolphin fish, also known as Indus Blind Dolphin, which is an endangered species.

The fish is only found between Guddu and Sukkur, particularly under the schools of upstream of Sukkur Barrage up to Lance down bridge.

According to the latest survey, there are presently around 1,419 dolphins in the area.

The mission also visited the habitat of the Indus Blind Dolphin located upstream of the barrages and appreciated the Sindh Wildlife management and SBIP team for making efforts for their preservation.