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Sahiwal and Sialkot are two cities in the Punjab Province of Pakistan, which benefited from CDIA support to prioritize and conceptualize their infrastructure investments. The projects identified with CDIA support are now being considered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for potential funding under its Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Program (PICIIP).
“We are happy to note that the PICIIP is reflective of key investments and innovations that emanate from the upstream planning work we did for the two cities,” said Joris van Etten, CDIA-ADB Program Manager.
In 2015, CDIA developed the Medium-Term Integrated Climate Resilient Urban Infrastructure Investment Program and Pre-feasibility Studies (PFS) for Sahiwal and Sialkot.
Sahiwal, with population of 392,000 suffers from inadequate water supply, inefficient sewerage and drainage systems, and poor solid waste management. Relatively, Sialkot, with population of 560,000 is prone to extreme weather-related flooding while its water supply is almost 80% bacterially contaminated. Also, less than 50% of its 350 tons of daily waste is collected and disposed to open dumping sites, which pose environmental and health hazards.
“Clearly, there is great need to upgrade infrastructure in Sahiwal and Sialkot as lack of infrastructure investments have resulted in poverty and urban vulnerabilities. We hope to add value to ADB’s investment program by promoting inclusiveness, ensuring competitiveness, and building resilience of both cities,” said Mr. van Etten, after having participated in the ADB’s fact-finding mission in January 2017.
The first phase of PICIIP is envisioned to support Sialkot and Sahiwal with a total investment amount of $250 million to ensure sustained access to clean water, ecologically safe disposal and treatment of sewage water, and access to urban public spaces and transport services. ADB will finance $200 million and the Government of Punjab will provide $50 million as its counterpart. In the coming years, three other cities – Sargodha, Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan will be considered for funding and development.