KARACHI: The Karachi Sewage Treatment Project, also known as Project S3, to treat 460 million gallon per day (MGD) sewage is expected to be completed by end of 2018, official sources informed Daily Times. Sources said that the project is considered as largest sewerage project in the metropolis to control sea pollution adding that the Greater Karachi Sewage Treatment Project would cost around Rs 28 billion as compared to its original estimated cost of Rs 8 billion, thus cost escalated by Rs 20 billion. Sources said the project cost has gone around four times high because of time lapse, price variation of material and heavy mechanical instruments. “For current financial allocation, both federal and Sindh governments have allocated amount for the said project. While Sindh government has allocated Rs 1,000 million in current financial year and the federal government has kept Rs 1,200 million for the project,” said project manager while talking to Daily Times. He said the revised PC1 has been submitted to the federal government for approval of Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC). “The approval is required for leftover segments of Lyari River portion and whole Malir as according to bylaws, if cost rises by 15 percent of its original cost, it was mandatory to take ECNEC’s fresh approval,” the official informed.”We hope that the approval would be granted before December this year so we could start work on the said project,” he said. Sources said the project was conceived in 2005-2006 and the construction work started in 2007. According to original plan, one year was kept for design phase and another three years for construction work. However, due to issues pertaining to land and non-availability of funds, the project work stopped. However, according to Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), the execution authority’s work has restarted from 2012 onwards. Sources further said the building work of S3, domestic flow intercept has been divided into two portions including Lyari River and Malir River adding that the construction work on Lyari is underway while in Malir, it is yet to start. About 90 percent of contracts were awarded for Lyari project, sources said. They said, “Everything depends upon finances. If proficient funding is available, we can finish civil work of Lyari by the end of this financial year. On the other end, work on Malir River, subject to the availability of approval of ECNEC at earliest, the work could finish at the site before December 2018.” The project once completed would cater 460 MGD domestic sewage including 260 MGD from Lyari River and remaining 200 MGD from Malir. According to KWSB, sewerage generated in city is 472 MGD. However, due to rehabilitation of existing treatment plants of Site Town (TP1), Mehmoodabad (TP2) and Mauripur Road (TP3), all waste is going into the sea untreated. “Besides that, the length of the project has been upgraded in due course of time. According to PC1, the original length of Lyari portion was of 12.5 kilometres while according to upgraded estimates, it is 27 kilometres,” said KWSB Managing Director Misbah Farid. “On the other hand, according to revised estimates, the length for Malir work is 22 kilometres against its original design of 14 kilometres,” he added. He said apart from KWSB, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) is also another agency sharing to treat 60 MDG of sewage with KWSB and passes dirty water through its way into the sea.