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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have signed an agreement of US $ 1.6 million on project readiness on advance loan agreement for Lahore Water and Wastewater Management Project.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. Dr Kazim Niaz, Secretary Economic Affairs Division signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Pakistan and Supee Teravaninthorn, Director General, Infrastructure Investment Department, Region-2, signed the agreement on behalf of the AIIB.

On the occasion, the minister for Economic Affairs welcomed the AIIB delegation and thanked for extending their continuous support to Pakistan in its efforts to achieve sustainable economic and social development in the country.

He apprised the delegation that the project holds high importance to the City of Lahore as it will; ensure a sustainable supply of safe water, reduce deteriorating environmental impacts due to untreated sewage disposal and deliver improved services to the general public thus, help make it a financially strong entity.

The preparatory activities will comprise the recruitment of two international PMCs, one each to support the engineering and design activities for the infrastructure components of the project. The PMCs will perform design reviews, finalise tender documents, help the Implementation agency to undertake the tendering process, update the environmental and social assessments to take into account the planned land acquisition that will be completed after the independent valuation study has been carried out and verify that the necessary provision of occupational health and safety are incorporated, and assist the Implementation Agency to update the environmental and social management plans, during the technical designs’ review, for their inclusion in tender documents.

The preparatory activities will also support the incremental operating costs for hiring of relevant experts to support project implementation, office rental, transport and office expenditures.

The Economic Affairs secretary expressed gratitude to the AIIB team for extending their continuous support to the Government of Pakistan to achieve National Development Goals.

He also expressed hope that the preparatory advance shall lead to early signing and implementation of the main project aimed at ensuring sustainable supply of safe water and improvement of existing sewerage system by providing new trunk sewers/conduits thereby, reducing the deteriorating environmental impacts.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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