KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in consultation with relevant experts approved the alignment of Ghotki-Kadhkot Bridge located 60 kilometers upstream of Sukkur Barrage.

He made this decision on Thursday while presiding over a high-level joint meeting of Irrigation, Water Experts, Consultants, Works Department Engineers and Stakeholders/Locals of Kandhkot-Kashmore District here at Chief Minister House, said a statement.

The meeting was told that the first hydraulic study was conducted at Irrigation Research Institute, Nadipur Lab on March 28, 2018.

The Irrigation department had expressed reservations on bridge location which was given in the RFP and subsequently in the concession agreement.

The Irrigation department proposed a new location which was about 14 kilometers upstream from the original bridge.

The chief minister constituted a joint expert committee of officials from NED University, Mehran University, Irrigation department and Works & Services department with the task to evaluate the bridge location options and recommend the most suitable location.

The joint expert committee after detailed deliberations recommended the original location as per RFP.

The Works & Services Department signed Concession Agreement in May 2018 with a private company, SPV which has created Ghotki-Kandhkot Road and Bridge Company (Pvt) limited.

The concessioner submitted Hydraulic Model study from Nadipur Lab to Works & Services department based on final proposed location for further action.

The model study proposed the bridge for two kilometers. The total width of River at that place is nine kilometers. It means there would be a four-lane two kilometers long bridge and five kilometers approaching roads on both sides.

It was observed that during 2010 flood water spilled over Tori Bund, therefore the chief minster decided that all the embankments located near the bridge would be strengthened.

The chief minister directed Works & Services and  Irrigation departments to send the bridge project to the Indus River Commission (IRC) for approval. The work would be started as soon as the IRC approved the project.

The chief minister said that the bridge would be a gift for the transport from Punjab-Sindh-Balochistan and for the people of all the nearby districts of nearby provinces.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019