Pakistan, Business News : The World Bank has approved $188 million to improve the reliability and safety of the Guddu Barrage and strengthen the Sindh Irrigation Department’s capacity to operate and manage the barrages.
Sindh Barrages Improvement Project (SBIP) under which the Guddu Barrage rehabilitation will be carried out is needed due to natural ageing of the infrastructure.
The rehabilitation work will eliminate possible sources of failure and potentially give the structure another 50 years of life according to a news release from Washington.
Barrages are strategic assets of Sindh and millions of people depend on the water that is controlled, diverted and managed by them. Their continued operation and management require specialized expertise, experience, decision making and continuity of operation, says Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
In addition to physical rehabilitation of barrage infrastructure this project will also support the Sindh Government in training and technical assistance in procurement, financial, social and environmental safeguards for operating hydraulic irrigation infrastructure.
The SBIP will support the gate replacement works to improve the regulation and the flow of the barrage the replacement of all 65 main barrage steel gates, 25 main canal head regulator gates and hoist gears including all mechanical and electrical equipment.
This project will also finance the independent Panel of Experts who will review, monitor, evaluate and help guide the rehabilitation process with regards to the safety of the barrage.
The Guddu barrage constitutes the most strategic component of the large Indus Basin Irrigation System.