Sindh Chief Minister orders strengthening, rehabilitation of Sukkur Barrage

Karachi, December 02, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has directed to the irrigation authorities, engineers and experts to give priority to existing Sukkur Barrage and ensure its strengthening and rehabilitation at any cost and he termed it as backbone of economy and life line for the people of Sindh.

He directed the officers for early implementation on the scheme of rehabilitation and re strengthening the Sukkur barrage which has been conceived at its estimated cost of Rs 30 billion with the consultation of National and International firms.

He said that this scheme must be implemented as per recommendations of the panel of experts in letter and spirit. This he directed while presiding over meeting to review over the future planning of Sukkur Barrage at the committee room Sindh Secretariat Karachi today.

The Leader of opposition Syed Khursheed Shah, The Senior Minister for Education Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, The Sindh Minister for Works and Services Mir Hazar Khan Bijirani, The Advisor to CM for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah Chief Secretary Sindh Sajjad Saleem Hotiyana, Secretary to CM Rai Sikandar, Secretary Irrigation Babar Afandi, Ex Secretaries and Irrigation Experts, Including ANG Abbasi, Bashir Dahar, Shuja Junejo , Ex Chief Engineer Irrigation Khadim Memon, Irrigation expert Malik Ahmed Khan from Punjab , Chief Engineer Sukkur Barrage Junaid Memon and other attended the meeting.

The Chief Minister Sindh said that there were two opinions about the survival of Sukkur Barrage. He said that one theory was to have alternate of Sukkur Barrage because of expiry of its life time and second opinion of experts was that there was no need of construction of new Sukkur Barrage but we can re strengthen existing Barrage and make it more viable and beneficial to the people of Sindh up to next 30 to 50 years.

He said that after threadbare discussion and deliration by the exports of irrigation in the meeting he came on the conclusion that there was no structural threat to Sukkur Barrage as such there is no need to conceive another schemes for alternative barrage urgently at present.

However he directed the officers, experts that in the meantime the irrigation department must conduct the study with the help of National and International experts for preparing feasibility and identifying of the site for new proposed barrage in the replacement of Sukkur Barrage but he made it clear that we cannot put the rehabilitation work of existing Barrage on the hold because of concept of alternate one.

The Chief Minister Said that the final study of the experts for having new Barrage would be vet and to be got implementation in case of consensus of all the stakeholders on it. He said that this is a very important and even sensitive issue and we cannot take it in haste.

The Chief Minister Sindh said that we are considering the re strengthening and rehabilitation of Sukkur barrage since long. He said that ex-president of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari had also visited the Sukkur Barrage along with Deputy Prime Minister of U.K during the last flood and had asked the UK Deputy PM for their support in this task.

He said that UK Deputy PM nodded our request in affirmative. The Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that at present two important issues of Sukkur Barrage were being focused in addition to other issues. Which include enhance its discharge capacity from 0.9 million cusec to 1.5 million cusec and other to ensure proper water feed to its right bank off taking canals. He said the he was optimistic that these two major issues would be got resolved under the rehabilitation project which to be implemented very short.

The leader of the opposition in National Assembly MNA Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah who also attended the meeting expressed his satisfaction over the briefing made by the Senior Irrigation Engineers who served the Irrigation Department as Secretary and Chief Engineers said that there were hundred reasons for totally depending on existing Sukkur Barrage but one reason of completion of life time by Sukkur Barrage compel us to have an affective, plan of alternate Barrage in hand, so that we can move to the decision in right time and enable to escape any eventuality of disaster.

He said that 70% to 80% Agriculture of Sindh depend on Sukkur Barrage and we must be careful to protect the economic interests of the population in advance. The Sindh Minister for Works and Services Mr. Hazar Khan Bijrani was of the views that structure of Sukkur Barrage was strong enough and not under threat. What it needs is its proper maintenance.

However he recommended for re-modeling and re-habilitation of off taking canals along with Barrage as according to him these all had been silt up and reduced their designed capacity.

Earlier the renowned Irrigation expert Ex Secretary Irrigation Mr. ANG Abbasi said that there was no need of alternate barrage on account of having increased discharge capacity or because of completion of life time by Sukkur Barrage Similarly, the Ex Secretary Irrigation Mr. Shuja Junejo, Bashir Dahar and present Secretary Irrigation Mr. Babar Afandi while delivering their views said that there was no urgent need of alternate of Sukkur Barrage.

They even went on the length that by rehabilitation of existing Sukkur Barrage it would be safe up to next 30 to 50 years. However they recommended for conducting the study to ascertain the need of having new Barrage in replacement of Sukkur Barrage so that same can be used in future as and when required.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Allah Bachayo Memon
Press Secretary
Chief Minister House
Tel: +9221 99202019
Cell: +92300-3524057 (Ext: 336)

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