90% land acquired for Basha Dam: Senate body informed

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Senate Special Committee on Water Scarcity was informed on Thursday that about 90 percent land acquisition process had been completed for construction of Diamer Basha Dam, having capacity to generate 4500 MW electricity.

“About Rs 90 billion have been paid to owners against the acquired land, while 10 percent remaining land will soon be acquired after the payment of Rs 60 billion,” Federal Secretary Water Resources Shamail Ahmad Khawaja informed the body.

The special committee was met here under the convenrership of Moula Bux Chandio.

“With construction of Mohmand and Diamer Basha dams, water storage capacity of the country will increase from 37 days to 56 dams” he added.

The secretary also informed the committee that about Rs 304 billion embezzlement cases of Mohmand dam is in courts. He said Rs 36 billion had been allocated in the Public Sector Development Programme 2018-19 for the ongoing water reservoir project, while only Rs 1.1 billion had been earmarked for the new projects.

The secretary said that the ministry had proposed construction of big, medium and small dams to meet the water and energy shortages. He said it was unfortunate that during last 18 years, allocation for the water reservoirs had decreased to 3.7 of the GDP from 17 percent.

Maxmuim benefit of Gomal Zam, Darawat dams and Kachi Canal have not been attained due to non-availability of the distribution system, he added.

“Construction of the dams was the responsibility of the federal government while developing distribution system was the obligation of provincial governments, but provincial governments failed to develop the system due to which fruits of the dams and canals have not been achieved” he added.

“I am saying game changers to these projects and fate of the provinces will be changed after achieving the full benefit of the already constructed dams,” he added.

The convener of the committee Moula Bux Chandio asked the ministry to prepare a comprehensive report of these projects and share with the members.

The committee was also informed that the Tarbela dam has attained its maximum conservation level and the storage available in the reservoir is 9.260 MAF against the maximum storage capacity of 13.681 MAF.

He said as per preliminary analysis of the data, it anticipated that the deficit may result in 35 to 45 percent shortfall during the forthcoming Rabi season.

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