Slow progress on Bhasha dam worries MPs

ISLAMABAD - While pointing towards the slow progress of work on Diamir-Bhasha dam, a member of the parliamentary committee said on Monday that so far only one Mosque has been constructed at the site of the reservoir.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms also asked the Ministry of Planning to provide the complete list of the PSDP funded projects as majority of them, including CPEC support project, are working without the permanent project directors. The committee, met under the chairmanship of Abdul Majeed Khan, discussed the issue of hiring full time project directors for the PSDP funded project and issues related to Bhasha Dam etc.

The Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms secretary informed the committee that the independent project directors would be appointed for those projects which are approved by Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec). The Ecnec only approves the projects that worth more than Rs3 billion which means it is unlikely that the planning ministry is going to hire fulltime project directors for majority of its PSDP funded projects. The committee recommended that the ministry may provide a complete list of the project directors to the committee for its perusal.

It is pertinent to mention here that out of more than 33 PSDP funded projects of the planning ministry 80 percent are without fulltime project directors. A member of the Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms also took notice of slow progress on Bhasha Dam and said that so far no major work has been done and only one Mosque was constructed at the dam site.

Member committee Junaid Akbar said, “We are listening about Bhasha dam for the past two years but so far only one Mosque was constructed in the area. Why the government writ is too week and it cannot vacate 30,000 people from the dam site.”

The Wapda chairman said that the government is the final authority about the construction of Bhasha dam. He said that the project is being delayed for the past 10 years. He informed the committee that it is not Wapda but the government who will fund the construction of the dam. He informed the Committee that 87 percent of the total land has been acquired for Diamer Basha Dam Project. He said if the government provides financing today, for Bhasha, work on the project will begun. He pointed that the country is required to build one reservoir every 10 years.

The Fesco chief executive officer assured the committee that the electrification work in NA-73 under Pakistan SDGs and Community Development programme will be completed by end of July, 2017. The committee recommended that the Ministry of Water & Power may submit its funds execution policy before the committee in the next meeting.

The NESCOM general manager informed the committee that 33 percent work on the project of National Electronics Complex of Pakistan (NECOP) has been completed. The committee was informed that the remaining issue of construction of bridge on River Indus to link Kallur-Kot with Dera Ismail Khan would be resolved before the next meeting. Moreover, it was informed that the PC-I of project has been prepared and submitted in CDWP for approval.

MNAs, Ch Jaffar Iqbal, Junaid Akbar, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Qaiser Jamal, Sheikh Salahuddin, Asiya Nasir, Ehsanur Rehman Mazari and Sher Akber Khan attended the meeting, besides officials of the Ministry of Planning, Water & Power, Wapda and Fesco.

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