WB assures Sindh to help install oxygen plant, procurement of vent

Sindh Chief Minister meeting with WB country Director Najy Benhassaine: WB assures Sindh to help install oxygen plant, procurement of vent

– Request of the Sindh govt  to help install oxygen plant, procurement of vent would be considered favorably – WB  

  • WB agrees to release more funds for Barrages Improvement Projects  
  • Sindh Agriculture Growth Project Livestock Component
  • Livestock Policy 
  • Karachi Water & Sewerage Services Improvement Project 
  • Sindh Solar Energy Project (SSEP)

KARACHI (Jun 18): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has urged the World Bank to allow the provincial government to utilize $11 million saved from different projects for installation of an oxygen plant and procurement of other COVID-19 related equipment.

This he said in his meeting with a World Bank delegation led by Mr Najy Benhassaine.

The other participants of the World Bank were Amena Raja, Abed Alrzak Khalil, Waleed Anwar and others were on video link from Islamabad.

The chief minister said that the pandemic of COVID-19 has become a serious issue, therefore preparedness to provide proper healthcare should be accordingly.

“We have established a separate hospital, Institute of Infectious Diseases’ in Karachi and have decided to establish similar facilities at all divisional headquarters,” he said.

Mr Shah said that there was a dire need to establish an oxygen plant in the province so that uninterrupted supply of oxygen to the healthcare facilities could be ensured.

“Due to different waves and variants of COVID requirement of oxygen has increased many times, therefore we plan to install an oxygen plant to cater to the needs of COVID patients,” he said.  Murad Ali Shah also said that there were only 668 ventilators in different government hospitals.

“Due to COVID emergency the provincial government has planned to procure at least 500 more ventilators for COVID related hospitals,” he said and added the provincial government has saved around $11 million in different World Bank funded projects.

“If these funds are appropriated for establishment of an oxygen plant and procurement of COVID related equipment and gadgets,” he said.

The World Bank country chief said that the bank supported COVID-19 emergency and the request of the Sindh government was legitimate and would be considered favorably.

Sukkur Barrage

The Chief Minister said that Sindh Barrages Improvement Projects to rehabilitate and modernize Sukkur barrage has been launched with the assistance of the World Bank. He said that there were five components of the projects, replacement of six gates of the barrage and associated works for which work was awarded to M/s Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Ltd in 2019 for Rs16.7 billion.

The CM talking about the progress of the project said that 66 percent physical and 64 percent financial progress has been achieved.

He said that two gates of the main barrage and hoisting system have been installed and commissioned. Installation of one gate was under process and the remaining three gates would be installed by September.

The scope of the project includes repair works to structures, embankment and surface protection, foundation Inspection and repairs, building works, instrumentation and monitoring, electrical and mechanical works, CCTV and installation of communication systems.

The second component `Restoration of Sukkur Barrage’ would cost around Rs15,675 million. The chief minister said that its prequalification documents were opened in January 2021 and work would be awarded in October 2021.

The third component is dredging and excavation of the barrage for Rs2,012.5 million.

Fourth is procurement of dredger for Rs150 million, Desilting of Right Bank Canals and canal desilting works for Rs1.868.2 million and construction supervision consultants for rehabilitation and modernization of the barrage for $4 million.

The meeting agreed to release more funds and start work on other components which have been delayed due to COVID-19.

Sindh Agriculture Growth Project Livestock Component:

This project has been launched in 10 districts- Hyderabad, Thatta, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Tharparkar, Shaheed Benazirabad, Naushehro Feroze, Khairpur, Sukkur and Larkana for $30.7 million with the objectives to improve the productivity and market access of small and medium producers in important commodity value chains.

The chief minister told the World Bank team that he project team has achieved 98 percent of targets assigned to them. He added that 153 Milk Producer Groups (MPGs) have been formed in 153 villages of 10 Districts of Sindh.

Mr Shah said that in order to improve animal production, the capacity of 5,753 MPGs members built through three trainings, visits, workshops and seminars were also arranged.

Under the project Animal production is increased up to 28.6 percent due to capacity building of farmers on improved animal husbandry practices and extensive animal health as well.

Of the 153 MPGs, 149 have been facilitated with constructed chiller rooms and installation of milk chillers with allied equipment. Where the dairy business is being carried out at village level.

As far as the market linkage of these collection points is concerned, Murad Shah said that it has developed with sale points of nearby towns. Additionally, 40 milk sell points/ outlets were opened by MPG farmers at nearby towns at their own expenses where they are selling their MPGs collected milk and milk bi-products at optimum costs, eh said and added in these rural areas, the farmers were now receiving 60.6 percent more cost of milk as compared to earlier (before project).Breed Improvement: The meeting was told that First ever, Artificial Insemination (AI) Training Center was established under the project at Sindh Agriculture University  Tandojam.

762 Artificial Insemination (AI) technician produced at established AITC, Tandojam against the target of 760. 550 AI technicians are equipped with AI kits and Liquid Nitrogen Gas containers to carry out AI services throughout the province.

Two Semen Production Units (SPUs);  at  Karachi and  Rohri have been renovated and strengthened for production of semen doses, which has reduced the need for purchase of semen doses from sister provinces and import of exotic semen doses.

Livestock Policy: The chief minister said that Livestock Policy has been constituted under the project and it was under implementation. He added that feasibility study on Holistic Land and Livestock Management (HLLM) had been conducted by HLLM team Zimbabwe and Savory Institute, USA under the project for Tharparkar and Thatta District to convert barren lands in to Gauchar areas, which is being approved by Sindh Government.

Karachi Water & Sewerage Services Improvement Project

The Karachi Water & Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIP) is a $600 million project with a $120 million Sindh government share.

The meeting was told that for environmental and social assessment studies of the project components, including augmentation of K-IV, ecological assessment for wetlands/Ramsar Sites for downstream-Indus impact were advertised for selection of consultants. The evaluation has been completed and RFP has been issued to consulting firms.

Environmental and social assessment studies for S-III Malir Basin component, priority of sewer networks, priority networks and filtration plants were advertised and RFP has been issued to the shortlisted consulting firms. Through advertisement for selection of consultants to conduct feasibility studies, design review and detailed engineering of K-IV augmentation works, additional bulk options, and detailed design of recommended options and construction of new and existing filtration plants to assure treatment has also been of 100 percent water has also been done and shortlisted firms have been issued RFP.

The chief minister said that that way forward was to transform KWSB through institutional reforms and gear-up the identified project progress for immediate addressing of water and sewerage issues prevailing in Karachi and to strive for making KWSB a financially sustainable water utility in the region.

Sindh Solar Energy Project (SSEP)

The SSEP is a World Bank assisted project of $105 million in which the Sindh government’s share is $5 million. The project is in the executive stage.

Utility Scale Solar: A series of Solar Parks to leverage the private sector development of Solar PV through the use of competitive bidding, starting with an initial 50 MW Project at Manjhand that aims to be the first international solar auction in Pakistan. Further to increase the development of Solar Park up to 400 MW in Sindh.

Distributed Solar: 20 MW of distributed solar PV on the rooftop and other available space on and around public sector buildings in Sindh.

Solar Home System: Will provide grants to scale up the provision of SHS by commercial solution provider (SSPs) in areas with low access to electricity, reaching at least 200,000 households.

It was pointed out that the NTDC has not yet given consent for power evacuation certificate and grid study approval at Manjhand, and SSEP is in negotiation with KE for power offtake. They have yet to give grid interconnection data in the first component.

The SSEP has completed 20 MW solarisation of public buildings and the SSEP has saving of $12 million.

Consent from KE for power offtake of 350 MW. 

The meeting decided to get consent from KE for power offtake of 350 MW. The chief minister directed P&D department to approve utilization of the saved amount of $12 Million for solarization of more public buildings. Eligible Solar Home System (SHS) suppliers of round one and two have been selected to accommodate 200,000 households in 10 targeted districts.

The chief minister urged the World Bank to include 19 remaining districts in the on-going project for which the Country Director of the World Bank assured the chief minister of considering it at their forum.