KARACHI: Sindh government would construct a bridge on River Indus to connect Ghotki with Kandhkot to ease two-way traffic pressure of Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh. This was disclosed by Sindh Chief Minister (CM) during a meeting at CM House on Wednesday. The relevant officials informed the meeting that alignment of bridge had been selected between Ghotki and Kandhkot which would have two lane 12.5 kilometre (km) approach road on Ghotki side and two lane 15.2 km road on Kandhkot side. They said that there would a 4.5 km link road to connect Thul Road and flyover would also be constructed on N-55. The meeting decided that the project would be constructed on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. It was decided that the 70 percent of the project costs would be paid through obtaining loans whereas 16 percent of the total cost would be paid by private partners and 14 percent of the costs would be shared by the Sindh government. The irrigation department officials told the meeting that riverine area survey and physical hydraulic model at Nadipur had been witnessed by officials of irrigation, works department, PPP unit, technical advisor and designers. The meeting was told that during the model study, accumulation of water was observed near Ghotki and the issue was discussed with officials of Nadipur and irrigation department. The officials said that all stakeholders agreed to shift the bridge by two km towards Ghotki on the same axis but they still did not select the location for the bridge. The officials informed the meeting that the alignment had been proposed 14 km upstream of Qadirpur. At this the CM said that he had been discussing this project since the last two years but the issue of bridge’s alignment had always been a bone of contention among relevant stakeholders. “Being a professional engineer I cannot approve this project straight away,” Murad Shah added. He then directed Sajid Jamal Abro to talk to vice chancellors of NED University of Engineering and Technology and University of Sindh and ask them to constitute joint teams of experts to study the course of River Indus between downstream Gudu Barrage and upstream Sukkur Barrage for the construction of this bridge in addition to proposing an alignment for the project. He also ordered the Irrigation Department and Works and Services Department to include their experts in the said teams to provide necessary assistance to them and aid them. Mines and Mineral Minister Shabir Bijarani, Minister for Excise and Taxation Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Minister for Works and Services Nasir Shah, Irrigation secretary Jamal Shah, Works secretary Raheem Shaikh, elected representatives from Ghotki and Kashmore districts and other relevant officials attended this meeting. Published in Daily Times, October 11th 2018.