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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presiding over a meeting to review the overhauling of damaged roads by heavy rains and floods approved Rs66 billion for the reconstruction of 8620 km of provincial roads with the support of donor agencies.

The meeting held at CM House was attended by Minister Works Zia Abbas Shah, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi, Secretary Works Shariq Ahmed, and others concerned.

The CM in his opening remarks said that due to heavy rains during the month of July and August 2022, Sindh has faced an unprecedented situation as the infrastructure has been badly affected. He added that most of the roads and associated infrastructure had been damaged and the remaining roads were in severely dilapidated condition which required emergent repair and rehabilitation to enable connectivity of inter and intra districts road network.

Survey & Assessment of damages: The CM was told that the Works & Services Department has so far carried out a district-wise survey of damages caused to the roads and other infrastructure and prepared a district-wise assessment. In the Roads Sector 801 schemes, under the purview of the Provincial government, have been affected having a length of 8620 km. Funds required for the rehabilitation of the road infrastructure is Rs 94121.578 million ($427.825 million).

Chief Secretary told the CM that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had also appointed a consultant to verify the assessment data of damages.

The chief minister approved Rs66 billion to reconstruct 8620 km of roads and directed the P&D and Works departments to ensure the quality of the roads, and construct conduits, bridges, and siphons where the passage to rain/sewerage water was required to be given. Shah said that “now we have to construct climate-change-resilient long-life roads, therefore construction and the material should be used accordingly.”

Small Roads: Murad Ali Shah also directed Chairman P&D to work out the small up to 3 km damaged roads connecting one village to the other to the city or within the city so that work on them could be started. “I want you to prepare the data within three weeks and submit it for my approval,” he said, adding he would start work on them in January.

Presiding over another meeting at CM House, the chief minister reviewed the wheat stocks available with the provincial government and approved procurement of 300,000 tons from PASSCO so that the requirement up to the beginning of March could be met.

Minister Food Mukesh Chawal briefing the chief minister said that during the year 2022-23 the food department had released 721,000 tons of wheat so far and still 379,000 tons were available with the department. He added that 300,000 tons of wheat were required so that wheat requirement till the harvest of the new crop, March 2023, could be met. The chief minister approved the procurement of 300,000 of wheat from the PASSCO.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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