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Can WAPDA solve Karachi’s water woes?

K-IV bulk water supply project handed over to WAPDA

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 2, 2020 | Last Updated: 6 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 2, 2020 | Last Updated: 6 months ago
Can WAPDA solve Karachi’s water woes?

The federal government’s Water and Power Development Authority is going to oversee completion of the K-IV, Karachi’s bulk water supply scheme, with the Sindh and federal governments’ blessings.

WADPA Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain and his team are set to arrive in Karachi on Tuesday to visit the K-IV project site. The team will be in the city for three days and be briefed by KWSB authorities, consultants Osmani and Co Ltd (OCL) and contractor FWO.

Federal IT Minister Aminul Haque confirmed the development and said it was decided during a coordination committee meeting that the federal government through WAPDA will oversee the completion work of the K-IV and the Sindh government would be responsible for the augmentation plan, including setting up power plants and pumping stations along the K-IV route.

He said the implementation and augmentation of the project is running at the same time as the project has already been delayed.

The minister said WAPDA has already worked on and completed multiple dams in Pakistan. It is currently working on the Diamer Basha Dam. WAPDA’s involvement in the K-IV, according to him, will yield good results.

The K-IV project office told SAMAA Digital the KWSB is going to hand over all documents related to the project within a week. “The office of the K-IV project will be in coordination with WAPDA in case of any assistance needed,” it added.

The office of the K-IV project manager wrote a letter to the OCL executive director for the project’s documents, such as

  • The approved PC-II performa
  • A copy of the feasibility study consultancy agreement
  • Feasibility study report (all volumes)
  • Consultancy agreement contract copy
  • Detailed design and supervision
  • Review report of the feasibility study
  • Environmental studies along with queries raised during the EIA public hearing
  • Detailed engineering design
  • Resettlement action plan
  • Approved PC-I performa
  • Building drawings
  • Current status of project
  • Design report volume-I (survey and geotechnical analysis
  • Design report volume-II (hydrology)
  • Design report volume-III (conveyance system)#
  • Design report volume-IV (pumping system)
  • Design report volume-VII (environmental analysis)
  • Cross drainage structures (construction drawings)
  • Intake structure—construction drawings (original and revised)
  • General notes (construction drawing K-IV Project)
  • Plan and profile (0+00 to 121+000)
  • Topographic survey
  • EPC documents
  • Geotechnical investigation report
  • Social survey report
  • Economic analysis
  • Original design and proposed design
  • Design of Fore Bay 1&2
  • Economic analysis of phase-I K-IV project (260mgd)
  • Water hammer analysis of rising mains

The project manager’s office also sought a complete hydraulic model along with hydraulic calculations of the complete conveying system shared with M/s NESPAK for a design review.

“The OCL has not submitted the above mentioned information in the office after 15 days elapsed. The letter to the OCL seeking such information was written on October 19,” he added.

The OCL said that as per the September 22, 2020 consultancy agreement with an extension date till December 31, 2020 deliverables have already been submitted to the office.

Its current focus is to finalise and meet the deadline for the revised PC-I and updated design report.

The government’s inquiry commission on debts has sought data on the 650MGD K-IV water supply project under Section 4 of the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act, 2017.

The commission want to know the present status of the project, including the physical state of works undertaken on the Kirther Range conveyance route, technical reasons, responsibility and authority for not following the NESPAK design review report, status and responsibility of the current design review along with recommended design changes and costs, a time schedule and the cost of the project covering all aspects (pumping stations, conveyance route, power plants, filter plants, land acquisition and status of approval of PC-I).

It also wants tender and contract details, including a schedule for different works under the PPRA Rules dispensation, details of action against those responsible for delays including but not limited to the consultant, KWSB, government of Sindh and contractors, and an evaluation report of direct and indirect losses due to the 10-year delay in the project.

The commission wants the project director’s office to provide the data by November 3 but the K-IV office has asked for an extra 10 days.

The inquiry commission was formed by the federal government in 2019 to investigate loans taken by provincial governments in the last 10 years.

It is made up of 12 members and is headed by Hussain Asghar, a retired grade-22 officer of the Police Service of Pakistan. He is currently serving as deputy chairman of NAB. The other members are from the FIA, Intelligence Bureau, State Bank of Pakistan, Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, FBR, Accountant General Pakistan Revenues and finance secretary.

A history of the K-IV

The K-IV project was started in 2002 and the consultancy contract was awarded to M/s Osmani & Co Ltd to prepare its design and feasibility report.

The study was completed in 2007 but Osmani and Co only finalised Route 8 of the total nine routes suggested.

The project was divided into three phases. Phase-I was to provide 260 millions of gallons of water per day to Karachi. Phase-II was also supposed to provide 260MGD while Phase-III was to supply 130MGD.

The initial cost of Phase-I was Rs25 billion. In 2011, the PC-I was prepared and the project was approved by ECNEC in 2014.

The federal and provincial governments had decided to share the project’s cost equally.

In 2016, the Sindh government asked the Frontier Works Organisation to work on the project. However, work was stopped in August 2018 due to a fault in its design.

In 2019, the Sindh government nominated the National Engineering Services of Pakistan as a third party to review the K-IV design prepared by OCL.

It ordered an inquiry into the delay in the project’s completion in 2018. In the inquiry report, then local government Secretary Aijaz Mahesar said “The consultant lacks expertise and the project is planned badly”.

The report said the choice of Route 8 for the project was incorrect as three other routes were more feasible.

NESPAK also submitted its design review report too in which it said the selected design was not feasible for the project’s execution. In October 2019, the Sindh government formed a technical committee to find a way forward in light of NESPAK’s report.

The committee was headed by then local government secretary Roshan Ali Shaikh who formed a sub-committee to review the NESPAK report.

Members of both committees held six meetings with OCL and NESPAK officials during which some heated discussions took place between OCL and NESPAK. However, these meetings did not yield any results and the fate of the K-IV is still hanging in the balance.

In July 2020, the Sindh cabinet decided to prepare a modified design review report by OCL to rectify the flaws pointed out in the design by NESPAK.

Now, the coordination committee decided to hand over the project to WAPDA.  

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