Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah said Friday the decision to impose a lockdown and close educational institutions will be taken in line with the National Command and Operation Centre’s (NCOC) recommendations. The chief minister’s statement comes as Karachi’s coronavirus positivity ratio reached 28.80%, according to NCOC’s data released this morning. CM Shah, speaking to journalists in Karachi, said coronavirus cases were spreading at a rapid pace, but the situation was under control as hospitalisations and patients in intensive care units (ICU) in the port city were less. The Sindh CM highlighted that Karachi reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases a day earlier, but insisted that the pressure on hospitals is not increasing. “Whatever strategy we adopt, it will be in consultation with NCOC,” he reiterated. The chief minister said the provincial government is monitoring the coronavirus situation, as he noted that infections were not only rising in Sindh, but across the rest of Pakistan too. Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presiding over 35th Public Private Partnership meeting to important decisions to start construction of Mauripur Expressway and ICI Interchange Project, expedition of Malir expressway, launching of NED Tech Park project and handing over four teachers training institutions to private parties to impart best teachers training in the province. The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, Nasir Shah, Syed Zia Abbas, jam Khan Shoro, Syed Sardar Shah, Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab, MPA Dr Sohrab Sarki, MPA Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Special Assistant to CM Syed Qasim Naveed, VC NED Dr Sarosh Lodhi, Chairman P&D Mohsin Naqvi, SMBR Shams Soomro, Secretary LG Najam Shah, Secretary School Education Akbar Leghari, Secretary Works Imran Atta, Secretary Irrigation Haleem Shaikh, MD Water Board Asadullah Khan, DG PPP Unit Khalid Shaikh and other concerned officers. The meeting was told that Mauripur Expressway & ICI Interchange Project a Designed, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain and Transfer (DBFOMT) through a concession agreement. The project includes 8-km 2X2 lane of Mauripur Expressway and one km two lane (one way) interchange at ICI bridge. Concession period includes 27 years, including two years of construction. The project would be financed by a private party, the Sindh government through equity and debt arrangement. There is a 30 percent equity, 51 percent private partner and 49 percent by the Sindh government. The financial close of the project has been achieved. The chief minister was told that after evaluation of financial and technical evolution the two lowest bidders were short listed. The chief minister in consultation with the board members decided to award the contract to the lowest bidder and directed the finance department to release necessary funds to start the work. The meeting was told that the 12 kilometer track for Malir Expressway has been leveled. There was a minor issue of alignment at Sumo Goth where a proposal of construction of a bridge was required. The chief minister approved minor changes in the alignment and directed the DG PPP Unit Khalid Shaikh to speed up work on the project so that it could be completed. The PPP policy board approved establishment of NED Technology Park at NED Campus with the core objective of building an innovative ecosystem through entrepreneurship, stimulating innovation-led economic growth, promoting commercialization of research and development in association with local research centers and academic institutions and creating enhanced international and national strategic linkages to further growth and economic diversity. VC NED Dr Sarosh Lodhi told the meeting that the tenants to be housed in the park include Anchor companies- big tech companies that would attract other smaller tech business tech business to rent space within the park. The SMEs Research companies- small and medium size business organizations and research companies that require space for carrying out their operations and startup companies – technology-based ventures that want to set up a business or rare in an early stage of operations. It was pointed out that the Tech Park was proposed to have a covered area of 529,467 square feet aimed at housing technology-related companies. The board approved the project in principle and directed the NED University to file detailed and required documentation with the PPP Unit so that expression of interest could be invited. The PPP Policy Board had approved Teachers Training Institute & College (TTIC) Project for feasibility and subsequent private partners solicitation. The School Education & Literacy Department (SELD) conducted feasibility study through transaction advisors for six TTIC’s, including Government Elementary College of Education (GECE) Women, Hussainabad, the GECE Women, Mirpurkhas, the GECE Women, Larkana, the GECE (W&M), Darsano Channo, Karachi, the GECE (Men), Sukkur and Provincial Institute of Teacher Education (PITE), ShaheedBenazirabad.