By Shakil Paracha
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said yesterday that the construction of a bridge on Indus River to connect Ghotki with Kandhkot is most important to cater to growing vehicular traffic to and fro Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, but the most important thing is selection of an accurate location so that natural flow of the river may not be affected.
This he said while presiding over a meeting on the proposed bridge here at the CM House. The meeting was attended by Mines & Mineral Minister Shabir Bijarani, Excise & Taxation Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Works & Services Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Secretary Irrigation Jamal Shah, Secretary Works Raheem Shaikh, elected representatives from Ghotki and Kashmore @Kandhkot districts and other officers concerned.
The chief minister was told that the alignment of the bridge had been selected between Ghotki and Kandhkot which would have 12.5 km two lane approach road on Ghotki side and 15.2 km two lane road on Kandhkot side. There would be a 4.5 km link road that would connect Thul road. A flyover would be constructed on N-55. The project would be constructed on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis. The cost of project would be met by 70 percent loan – 16 percent by private partners and 14 percent by Sindh government.
The irrigation department told the chief minister that riverine area survey and physical hydraulic model at Nadipur was also witnessed by the officials of irrigation department, works department, PPP Unit, technical advisor and designers.
The chief minister was told that during model study, accumulation of water was observed near Ghotki side. The issue was discussed with the officials of Nadipur and irrigation department, and it was partly agreed by all the stakeholders to shift the bridge by two kilometers towards Ghotki on the same axes. However, no location was selected. The alignment of 14 kilometers upstream Qadirpur has been proposed. Shah said that he had been discussing the project since last two years, but the issue of its alignment had always been a bone of contention among the stakeholders like irrigation department and works & services department etc.