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KARACHI: The Chief Minister Sindh on Saturday during his budget speech announced ongoing flagship projects under ADP 2023-24.

English Medium Schools: Under the Rs 11,777.401 million project 50 state-of-the-art resilient schools are being constructed on prefabricated mild steel structures. The project is implemented under three separate schemes: the establishment of 25 English medium schools; one in each district, the establishment of 15 Comprehensive High schools, and the establishment of 10 Comprehensive High schools; one in each district.

The expenditures on the project have been recorded at Rs 7,931.005 million and the allocation for the next financial year 2023-24 is Rs 1.51 billion. The project would be completed in June 2025.

The chief minister disclosed that 34 schools including 20 English medium and 14 comprehensive have been made functional. 15 schools have also been provided furniture, IT equipment, and science material. To carry out the remaining works on five more English medium schools in Shikarpur, Umerkot, Tharparkar, Kamber, and Jacobabad. Cold-formed steel structures in 10 schools would be provided during the next financial year 2023-24.

Aror University: Aror University of Art, Architecture, Design, and Heritage Sukkur is being established. The aim of the Rs 1.595 billion project is to provide modern methods of teaching as well as research activities in Art, Architecture, Design, and Heritage for developing Human Resources for the country so that highly qualified manpower can contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

The expenditures of the project have been made so far Rs 1.017 billion and the allocation for the next financial year 2023-24 is Rs 250 million. The project would be completed in June 2025.

It may be noted that the university started its functioning in May 2022. 200 students, boys, and girls started their carrier in conjugated and qualified academics such as the faculty of Architecture & Town Planning and Photography.

In the next financial year 2023-24, infrastructure for the faculty of Design and Heritage would be established. Hotels for girls and boys, an auditorium, and a gymnasium for students would be constructed.

Sindh Infection Diseases Control Hospital & Research Center Karachi: The Rs 4.534 billion project aims at expanding and improving diagnostic and therapeutic facilities for patients suffering from infectious disorders, providing medical and surgical care to seriously affected patients in case of mass pandemics and emergencies, and minimizing morbidities and mortalities.

The project also supports building capacities of undergraduate and postgraduate doctors, undertaking epidemiological research, and collecting data for future planning to control infectious disorders and conduct various vaccine/medicine trials in the research center.

The cumulative expenditure on the project comes to Rs 620.853 million while the allocation for the next financial year 2023-24 is Rs 250 million. During the current financial year, Block-A & B have been completed and are providing services and for the next financial year Block-C would be completed.

PEADS Cardiac Unit at NICVD: The main objective of the Rs 2.757 billion project is to reduce morbidity and mortality in infants and children suffering from cardiac diseases and provide highly specialized pediatric surgical and pediatric cardiology wards.

It strengthens the existing infrastructure for better referral services and supports systems for the improvement of health conditions, especially child health, and develops new sub-specialties like pediatric electrophysiology. The project envisages a seven-story building scientifically designed to accommodate 258 indoor beds, six operation theaters with 24 bedded surgical ICU, catheterization, surgical, echocardiography departments, electrophysiology lab etc.

The expenditures incurred on the project so far come to Rs 2.294 billion while the next year’s allocation is Rs 462.562 million and the project would be completed in June 2024. It may be noted that the RCC structure to the 7th floor has been completed, including the lift and stair walls. The building structure up to the third floor has been completed.

Water Reservoir on Solar Power: Rs 1.32 billion project of construction of water storage reservoirs on solar power for the conservation of water for increasing crop intensity in Sindh in all districts aims at increasing agricultural production by utilizing available irrigation and underground sweet water more efficiently through the construction of water storage reservoirs operated on solar pumping systems.

This would help farmers to store water for crops during a shortage of water and improve their socioeconomic conditions.

On the project, Rs 45 million had been utilized for the construction of 62 water storage reservoirs. For the next financial year, Rs100 million have been allocated to construct 49 more water reservoirs. The project would be completed by June 2026.

Farming Techniques to Improve Crop Yield: The Rs 99 million project of vertical farming techniques to improve crop yield in Sindh aims to increase agricultural production by utilizing available irrigation water more efficiently through a High-Efficiency Irrigation System (HEIS) and getting multiple growths of crops in tunnels with controlled atmosphere technology.

The government has utilized Rs 12.5 million for the installation of 12 units of control atmosphere vertical farming as a pilot project in different districts.

The government has allocated Rs 46.583 million for 2023-24 for the construction of five vertical farms in different districts. The project would be completed by June 2024. Intra-District Peoples Bus: The Sindh Peoples Intra-District bus project is a G2G initiative between the Government of Sindh and NRTC that was launched in 2021, this is the first-ever intra-city public transport project operating in mixed traffic, particularly in Karachi and other cities of Sindh.

The cost of the project is Rs 1.952 billion and so far, Rs 800 million had been utilized for the purchase of 250 diesel hybrid buses which are operational. The government has allocated Rs 1.152 billion for 2023-24 for the procurement of 20 new diesel hybrid buses. The project would be completed by June 2024.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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