Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has decided to launch a Rs110 billion housing project for flood-affected people with the assistance of the World Bank (WB), for which a special unit will be established under the chief secretary.
This was revealed during a meeting on Friday between CM Syed Murad Ali Shah and World Bank Country Director Mr. Najy Benhassine, who joined the meeting via video link from Islamabad.
Dr. Azra Pechuho, Manzoor Wassan, Nasir Shah Jam Khan Shoro, Zia Abbas Shah, Rasool Bux Chandio, Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, and concerned secretaries attended the meeting.
Program Leader Abedalrazaq Khalif, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist Elif Ayhan, Bilal Khalid, Kamran Akbar, Yunziyi Lag, and Farah Yamin were among the World Bank team members who attended the meeting in person.
The CM stated that teams have already been dispatched to clear water from the flooded towns and villages. “The dewatering process is underway, and hopefully within one and a half months it will be evacuated,” he said, adding that once the water is disposed of, he will begin construction of houses for the affected people.
He stated that the winter season was approaching, and that we needed to make housing arrangements for the people. He pleaded with the World Bank to fund the housing project.
After extensive discussions and deliberation, the CM and the World Bank Country Director agreed to launch the Rs110 billion project, for which a company would be established under the control of the chief secretary.
The company’s CEO, with the support of the public and private sectors, would begin construction of the houses for which the survey is currently underway.
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The CM launched another project with the World Bank, claiming that the floods had destroyed the city’s road network and sunk the drainage system, and that he wanted to start a Rs13 billion project to rebuild the city’s damaged roads.
The World Bank has committed Rs6 billion to the project, and the chief minister has stated that the remaining Rs7 billion will be raised from other sources.
When discussing the repair and reconstruction of the sewerage lines, the CM stated that the recent heavy rains had sunk them. He went on to say that his government has devised a Rs25 billion plan to overhaul the sewerage system, as well as widen and redesign it.
The World Bank Country Director agreed to fund the project through the KWSSIP project.
The CM also took on the project of rebuilding Jam Sadiq Bridge or constructing a parallel bridge, for which the World Bank and the Sindh government team agreed to discuss the project at the next meeting, which is scheduled for next week.
When discussing the plight of growers, the CM stated that the floods had caused irreparable damage. He stated that his government has prepared a Rs 30 billion scheme to provide fertilizer and certified seed subsidies to growers.
We need to revitalize our flooded agro-industry by providing incentives,” he said, adding that growers were unable to purchase certified seeds, fertilizers, and other inputs.
The World Bank agreed to provide $323 billion for the purpose of reclaiming growers’ lands from the floods and kicking off the upcoming Rabi crop.