KARACHI: The Sindh government and the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) have signed an agreement to construct 49-km Karachi-Thatta Dual Carriageway Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and FWO Director General Major General Mohammad Afzal signed the MoU at the Chief Minister House on Tuesday. The ceremony was attended by provincial ministers, secretaries, representatives of FWO, Dubai Islamic Bank and other concerned. The Concession Agreement for the project was signed on May 7, 2015, between the Works and Services Department and the Frontier Works Organisation in the presence of the chief minister. The Frontier Works Organization shall design and construct the dual carriageway within the period of two years and is also required to operate and maintain the dual carriageway through the life of concession period of 25 years. The cost of the project is Rs 1.35 billion and as per the financial structure of the project, 70 percent of the cost would be arranged through commercial loan and the remaining 30 percent amount would be contributed through equity. Furthermore, 53.3 percent of the equity or Rs 1,417 million would be contributed by the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), whereas the remaining 46.7 percent would be given by the Sindh government. Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that Thatta-Karachi Dualway Carriage would be a milestone in the development of the province. “I am committed with my people and leadership to develop Sindh and create congenial atmosphere for investment in industrial sector, particularly in Thar coal filed, he remarked. He said that building infrastructure and commitment of providing better road network, the Works and Services Department in association with Sindh Public Private Partnership Unit is going to launch Karachi- Thatta Dual Carriageway Project. “The project is most important artery in the province from Karachi to Thatta. The larger economic benefit of this project is linked with connecting this corridor from Thatta towards Thar for Thar coal filed,” he added. The chief minister said the improved access would serve thousands of commuters living along the Karachi-Thatta route and those who are already using this facility up to Thatta or beyond. “It is also expected that the improved facility would help open up these areas from creation of soft infrastructure such as better services for schools and health centres, as these areas would become easy to reach through this project,” he maintained. Senior Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the importance of the project is also highlighted with its connection with the Thar Coal field area. He said that after a fair and transparent bidding process, the Sindh government has joined hands with the Frontier Works Organization (the pioneers of infrastructure development in Pakistan) under public private partnership mode to construct the National Highway N-5 starting from Gaggar Phatak to Thatta Bypass.