ISLAMABAD - Resenting the rude behaviour with parliamentarians and absence of Federal Minister Ahmed Mukhtar from the meetings, the Senate Committee on Water and Power has decided to write a letter to the Senate chairman over the issue.
Parliamentary panel met here on Friday at the Parliament House with Senator Zahid Khan in chair for comprehensive briefing on under-construction dams in the country. The committee expressed annoyance over the absence of Federal Minister for Water and Power Ahmed Mukhtar from the meetings of standing committees.
The committee also asked the Water and Power secretary to direct all distribution companies (Discos) to end unscheduled power loadshedding and take action against officials concerned for carrying out unscheduled loadshedding.
Senator Zahid Khan said Senate body had asked minister to appear before the committee to answer the queries of parliamentarians but he did not bother to attend the meeting. He said his attitude showed that he had no respect for parliamentarians and parliament. “Therefore, we have decided to write letter to chairman Senate about his attitude. “The committee gives recommendations but there is no use of these recommendations in absence of Federal minister. During meeting, CEO Neelum-Jhelum hydro power project Lt-Gen Muhammad Zubair informed the committee that this dam would generate 5.1b units and Rs 45b revenue for the country. He said to avert the effects of earthquake site of dams had been changed so project was delayed while Rs 90b shortfall of funds was another reason behind slow pace of work.
However, we have initiated Neelum-Jhelum surcharge to overcome this shortfall and Rs 16 billion have been collected so far, CEO added. He said initially contractors were reluctant to work on this project as site is just three kilometre away from line of control.
Standing committee also expressed its concern over the quality of equipment installed at the site of dam and directed to ensure better quality of equipment to maintain the power generation capacity of the dam for years. Committee was also annoyed over less power production from Malakand power project which is providing 36 megawatt to the national grid rather than a capacity of 83 MW.
Standing committee recommended to the chairman Wapda to send two engineers at the site of the project to check the reasons behind low generation and to give detailed report about that. Standing committee decided to have a separate meeting under construction dams in the Balochistan.
Expressing concerns over progress on Kurram Tangi Dam legislative body decided to have a separate meeting over it.
Member Wapda Syed Raghib Hussain said work on Jabban hydroelectric power station rehabilitation project would be commenced in 2013 and 29% civil work of this project has been completed. Committee said that there were so many irregularities in development work of this project and constituted a sub-committee comprising Senator Nisar Muhammad and Senator Humayaun Mandokhel to check the irregularities in the project and directed to provide its report swiftly.
Chairman of the committee said Dasu is another project that can generate 4,350 MW power but it is beyond understanding that why government was emphasising on Diamer Bhasha Dam.
Members said, “We need war-footing steps to control energy crises but despite that government was not fully utilizing its all resources.
Zahid said Bunji Dam with capacity of 7,000 MW could remove loadshedding menace from the country but government was working on only Diamer Bhasha Dam.
Chairman Wapda Shakeel Durrani said two projects could not be initialised and if work would be started on Dasu then Diamer Bhasha dam would be further delayed for ten years.
Committee directed officials of Wapda and economic affairs division to give a detailed briefing over financial affairs of different departments under construction dams in the country.
Legislative body also recommended secretary water and power to take action against Discos and the responsible who were doing 10 to 12 hours loadshedding in the country.