The cost of the Greater Karachi Sewage Treatment (S-III) Project has risen by an estimated 200 percent due to frequent delays, Daily Times has learnt. The estimated cost has risen from Rs 8 billion to Rs 54 billion due to multiple bottlenecks, inclusion of new components and delays in its completion, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) officials told Daily Times. Funded by the federal and Sindh governments, the project’s first stage in 2007 had a treatment plant TP-I, TP-II and TP-III and a 21-kilometre long conduit line from Surjani to Mauripur through Lyari River bed with an estimated cost of Rs 8 billion.The first phase of project was delayed for six years till 2013. Resultantly, its cost rose to Rs 17 billion. In 2018, KWSB decided to start work on the project and later added new components like enhancing treatment capacity of TP-I and TP-III. A new TP-IV Korangi Creek and a 29-kilometer conduit line from Super Highway to Korangi Creek Malir River bed was also included in the project. The cost was then estimated to be Rs 36 billion.The TP-I and TP-III were to be completed by 2019. However, both were delayed due to a lack of funds. Officials also decided to enhance treatment capacities of both TPs: 55 million gallons of sewage per day (mgd) to 130 mgd of TP-I and 55 mgd to 200 mgd of TP-111. However, work on TP-III could only be started in July, 2018. It is still underway, officials said.On the other hand, Mahmoodabad TP-II project was also delayed due to litigation, KWSB officials said.Estimated cost of S-III Sewage Treatment Project was Rs 8 billion in 2007Rejection of tender enquiries and land disputes also put TP-IV project on a back burner. However, the land dispute has now been resolved after six years, KWSB officials added.Talking to Daily Times, Project Director Hanif Baloch said that TP-IV had an estimated cost of Rs 12 billion and was supposed to be completed in 2019. “However, it could not be initiated due to the delay in the tender process and other hurdles,” he said.Tenders of Descon and a Chinese company had been rejected due to higher bids from both, he said, adding that consultants had been asked to initiate work on floating a new international tender in this regard.Baloch said that due to the renewed tender process and other allied assignments, the cost of the project would go up manifold.In similar manner, cost of three components of the 11-kilometer long conduit line from Yasinabad to Surjani will also increase. This segment of project will be completed in March, 2021.The PC-1 of S-III project was approved by Executive Council of National Economic Committee on February 7, 2018. Administrative approval of revised PC-1 was accorded by Sindh Finance Department on March 6, 2018 vide letter FD.SO(DEV-VI)1(262)/S-III/06-07. Technical and financial bidding has already been completed. The KWSB bid committee at present is scrutinising two contractors for awarding one of them to carry out the job.Upon completion, 550 million gallons of sewage will be treated daily before being discharged into the Arabian Sea.