Karachi: According to news sources, on Friday the federal government announced a PKR 125 billion Sindh barrage project over River Indus, 45-kilometres from the sea, in the south of Thatta and east of Karachi. This huge undertaking has been designed to address environmental problems like sea intrusion and land degradation.
The provincial government approved the project in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, at the CM House.
The federal government’s delegation was led by Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, and also featured Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman (r) Lieutenant General Muzammil Hussain, along with several other senior officials.
Minister Vawda spoke to the media afterwards, and expressed his hope that Prime Minister Imran Khan will approve the PKR 125 billion budget. He also revealed that the Sindh Chief Minister had shown a willingness to share in the cost, in case of any shortages.
The official statement issued by the CM House said that efforts are being made to resolve the water crisis in Sindh, and lay a foundation for its welfare for the next several decades.
The meeting was informed that there was a plan to construct a 12-metre high barrage on the Indus. The dykes on its two banks within the flood plain will be four to nine meters high, and the reservoir in the flood plain from the barrage will be 160-kilometres upstream. There will also be two canals on each side for irrigation and clean drinking water for the population of the coastal area.
The Wapda Chairman mentioned that a conceptual study had already been completed by the department, while a feasibility study will be completed by September 2020, vetting by international consultants will be concluded by September 2020 and a detailed engineering design is to be mapped by 2021. Finally, if all goes well, the construction and completion of the project will be completed around December 2024.