CM urges British govt to trace out firm which constructed Sukkur Barrage

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has urged the British government to trace out the engineers and the firm which constructed the largest Barrage of the world at Sukkur.

This he said in a meeting he held with British Minister of State for Trade and Investment and Minister for London the Rt. Hon. Greg Hands MP. He was accompanied by Thomas Drew British High Commissioner, Pakistan, Steve Crossman Acting Deputy High Commissioner, Karachi, Grace McDonagh Private Secretary Mathew Lister head of trade Lisa Weedon, head of trade London. Those who assisted the chief minister in the meeting include Minister Excise & Taxation Mukesh Chawla, Chairman P&D Board Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi and Chairperson SBI Naheed Memon.

The chief minister said that the Sukkur Barrage was constructed by Britishers in 1932. The Sindh government has conducted a survey and study through World Bank experts to rehabliate and reconstruct the barrage.

He added that the construction of new barrage is a gigantic task but for next 20 to 25 years the barrage can be given a new life if it is rehabilitated by the same firm and experts who had constructed it. “No matter, if the British government cannot extend financial support but I must help us to trace the firm and its experts who had constructed the barrage so that their expertise could be obtained to rehabilitate it,” he said.

The chief minister who also holds the portfolio of the Irrigation department said that the Barrage was constructed in 1932. It has completed its logical life but the Sindh government has been carrying out its repair and maintenance work, therefore it still irrigates the land and the people and animal living within its command area which is one of the largest are in the world.

In the meeting other avenues of investment were also discussed. The chief minister said that Sindh was rich in resources. The wind and solar corridor have capacity to generate 50,000 MW electricity if proper investment is made.

He also pointed out the investment opportunities in transport secrtor and said that his government has initiated Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode of investment. “This is successfully working in Sindh and our model is being replicated by other provinces also,” he said.

The visiting British state minister noted the matter taken up by the chief minister and assured him to explore ways and means to open the avenue of investment in Sindh.

The British State minister, Mr Hands showed his interest in the investment in tourism sector. He also showed interest to work on Moen-jo-Daro to make one of the largest tourist areas.

The chief minister nominated Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem to coordinate with British High Commission to carry forward various proposals discussed in the meeting.