KARACHI: The Public and Private Partnership (PPP) Policy Board in its 11th meeting held here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah at CM House today nodded in affirmative to increase the structural length of JHIRK-MULLAKATIAR (JMK) bridge being constructed on Indus River from 1038 meters to 1700 meters on the recommendation of Indus River Commission (IRC) to ensure there should be zero influx because of bridge construction specially during the flood season. The Board placed this proposal to the Technical & Financial Evolution Committee (TFEC) of the project to examine & evaluate the issue of estimated cost escalation upto 250 to 275 million pertaining to this change. It was informed in the meeting that work on this project was already in progress at its estimated cost of Rs 3.4 billion and it to be further increased upto 250 to 275 million when length of bridge increased upto 1700 meter. The Board also decided to rationalize toll tax charges at Hyderabad – Mirupurkhas Dual Carriage way the 1st project completed under PPP mode of development with a view to give relief to those commuters (local) who are travelling at short distance but being charged full toll tax of Mirpur Khas. The members of the Board made threadbare discussion over different proposal / studies and deliberated over the issue with reference to public demand and found one of these proposals floated in the meeting that is to bifurcate the journey in to 3 sections and charging the proportional toll for each section of the journey separately. This proposal was aimed to charge less from those who are travelling short distance. The Sindh Minister for livestock Jam Khan Shoro opposited the charging of full toll tax of Mirpurkhas from the commuters going to Tando Jam or its vicinity and he termed it as un justified similarly the Advisor to CM for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah said that this anomaly is discouraging the commuters for payment subsequently it is causing losses to the project partner and Sindh Govt as well. He said that in order to avoid this anomaly, provide relief to the local commuters and to encourage the private partnership for the future development the rationalization in the toll tax on Hyd-Mirpurkhas Dual carriage is essential. The Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah after discussion in detail formed a 3 member committee headed by provincial secretary finance Sohail Rajput with representative from each stake holder organizations as member to examine and evaluate the proposal for bifurcating the way into 3 sections and fixing the proportional charges for each section by keeping in view the positive socio economic impact of the decision on the people. He directed committee to submit the report within 3 days to him. Addressing the meeting the Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that the development projects being undertaken under the PPP mode of development are very much important for the socio economic development point of view but same to be completed in such a way so that every common man could be benefited accordingly. He said that PPP mode of development was an innovative idea and Sindh Govt to initiate mega development projects under this mode of development not only to facilitate the common people but to open new avenues of income & employment opportunities for them. The Sindh Minister for wildlife Jam Khan Shoro, Sindh Minister Transport Mumtaz Jakhrani, Advisor to CM Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Sajjad Saleem Hotiyana, Principal Secretary to CM Rai Sikandar, Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput, Secretary Energy Agha Wasif Abbas and other officers from Board of investment, nation building departments attended the meeting.
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