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World Bank interested in providing $192m, say officials

17 December, 2013

KARACHI: Officials of the Planning and Development Department said the World Bank is interested in providing financial aid of up to $192 million to improve the earthen watercourses during a meeting held at the Chief Minister House on Monday, adding that negotiations were underway.

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KARACHI: Officials of the Planning and Development Department said the World Bank is interested in providing financial aid of up to $192 million to improve the earthen watercourses during a meeting held at the Chief Minister House on Monday, adding that negotiations were underway.

Chairing the meeting, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) needed to be revamped and re-organised to enhance its capacity and to ensure its performance up to growers' expectations.

The chief minister constituted a committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary Development with Secretary Irrigation, Managing Director SIDA and a representative from Sindh Chamber of Agri-Culture, to discuss, deliberate, collect ideas and expertise before submitting proposals within two weeks.

The chief minister said that the Sindh government places importance on the irrigation sector and, as such, an annual Rs12 billion has been allocated for development works, while Rs35 million is provided to SIDA for its operational activities per year. He said the benefits of such a huge amount must reach the final consumers.

Shah added that, conceptually, SIDA was a good and viable organisation for equitable water distribution through the participation of beneficiaries themselves, but there are some structural, administrative and power sharing difficulties that hold the organisation back from its true potential.

The chief minister said that in addition to the development projects assigned to it, SIDA has been entrusted with implementing the Water Sector Improvement Project-I (WSIP-I), at a total cost of $175 million, and complete it by 2015.

Addition Chief Secretary, Arif Ahmed Khan, said that keeping in view future requirements, another project that would be aimed to improve and line the 5,000 water earthencourses was being conceived.

He said that though the SIDA has not delivered up to expectations, there are some bottlenecks in the system that needed to be removed. He also floated a proposal for the application of the method of public private partnership for distribution of irrigation water.

End.


 
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