World Bank has signed five loan agreements amounting $787 million with Pakistan for development projects, many of which are for Karachi uplift.
Mr Noor Ahmed; secretary Economic Affairs Division, Patchamuthu Illangovan country director of World Bank signed the agreements. Signing ceremony was witnessed by the representatives of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governments, Hammad Azhar Minister for Economic Affairs, National Transmission and Dispatch Company Ltd.
To aid three development projects for supporting urban mobility management & service delivery, improving water & sewerage, power sector and tourism in Karachi; World Bank will be providing $652 millions.
The first loan of $382m is for Karachi Mobility Project (Yellow Line) that is for improving mobility, accessibility & safety along the yellow line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor in Karachi. The project is expected to help developing infrastructure of urban road (Yellow Corridor), reconstruction or rehabilitation of road infrastructure along the yellow corridor, development & operations of a BRT system & capacity building.
Federal Government has recently approved the Yellow BRT corridor with a revised cost estimates of Rs. 61.436 billion
Previously the Karachi Urban Mobility Project (Yellow Line Bus Rapid Transit) project was approved by the Sindh government at a cost of Rs. 65.968 billion but the estimate has been rationalized by the Federal Government.
The corridor starts in the east at Dawood Chowrangi and ends at Numaish Chowrangi running through the Korangi industrial area. It is one of 5 priority lines in Karachi’s transport plan & expects to benefit passengers along Korangi industrial area and Surjani Town, by reducing travel time, improvements in road traffic fatalities & reducing emissions.
Another World Bank loan of $230 million will be financing Competitive and Livable City of Karachi Project. The said project is for improving performance of Karachi Local Councils & agencies of urban management and for improvement of business environment for developing private sector.
For improving service delivery and performance of local councils, performance based grants will be made for urban property tax system, for increasing private sector participation incentives will be offered, for enhancing ease of doing business, and improvement in solid waste management.
Another $40 million loan has been signed for Karachi Water & Sewerage Services Improvement project (Phase-1). Aim of project is improvement in access to safe water services and increasing financial and operational performance of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board. The project is believed to be the first of the proposed series of projects which forms a long term program for solving the serious water, hygiene and sanitation service gaps in increasingly growing Karachi.
Few weeks ago said project having a cost of $105.21m (Rs16.71bn) has been approved by the National Economic Council for improving water resources and sewerage system quality in Karachi.
The three projects have been based on the findings of the ‘Karachi Transformative Strategy’ which estimates infrastructure needs of between $9-10 billion in financing over a 10-year period project to meet infrastructure & service delivery needs of city through water supply and sanitation , urban transport & municipal solid waste.
Another loan of $70 million has been signed for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development Project aiming to improve tourism-enabling infrastructure, to develop tourism assets & to strengthen the management for sustainable tourism development in KP.
Fifth loan of $65 million is for Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) Project for sustainable trade of electricity 1,300MW between Central Asia Countries.
Mr. Hammad Azhar Minister for Economic Affairs said that this move by World Bank is an expression of promotion for current government development projects
The World Bank country representative also appreciated the reforms initiatives taken by PTI’s Government and assured extended possible support & facilitation by the World Bank to help put Pakistan’s economy back on track.