ISLAMABAD .: The government has received a welcoming response on the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams fundraising campaign as a big sum of Rs260 million has been donated by the people of Pakistan so far.
While talking to media persons after a meeting of the Implementation Committee of Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dams (ICBDMD), Wapda Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Muzammil Hussain said that there has so far been a positive response on fundraising as an amount of Rs260 million has been collected so far.
In pursuance of the Supreme Court’s judgment of July 4 for construction of the two dams, the second meeting of the ICBDMD was held on Friday at ICDBMD Secretariat.
The meeting, chaired by the Wapda chairman and was attended by members of the committee including additional secretary finance division, joint secretary Ministry of Water Resources, joint secretary prime minister’s office, senior chief planning division, additional chief secretary Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa among other senior officials.
“The country is facing a difficult situation regarding water and all measures are being taken to start work on water reservoirs”, the Wapda chief told media adding initiatives are also being taken to implement the water policy.
He also said that an amount of $1.5 to $2 billion was required from external financiers and they were in touch with the Swiss and other foreign banks for its arrangement.
Hussain further said that people played a key role in completion of the Neelum-Jhelum project which is adding 736MW electricity to the national grid.
“International financers had refused to finance the Diamer-Bhasha dam and tribal disputes were major issues in delay of the project”, he said adding that the subcommittee on finance would give recommendation whether to impose surcharge or not on the consumers to collect funding for these dams.
“Land for Diamer Bhasha dam belongs to Pakistan therefore this was not disputed”, informed the Wapda head.
Meanwhile, addressing the meeting, Hussain said that the committee is committed to accomplishing the task assigned to it by the apex court for early commencement and timely completion of the dams.
He said that the committee has been zealously working to weigh various options for the purpose.
Subsequently, the sub-committees presented their reports in the meeting.
The sub-committees for land acquisition and resettlement briefed the meeting about current status of the land acquisition and resettlement of both the dams, the obstacles to completion of acquisition and resettlement processes, and how the process can be streamlined.
While the sub-committee for procurement and implementation apprised the meeting of their analyses regarding strategies and processes, proposed measures for timely completion by identifying issues and defining the needed mechanism with timelines.
Moreover, the finance sub-committee also briefed about the measures required to achieve financial close in time, the identified gaps in arranging the requisite financing and suggested timelines.
Similarly, the sub-committees for security and coordination also briefed the meeting on the security, mechanism, logistical and legal support needed for the completion of the project.
The implementation committee thoroughly reviewed the sub-committees’ presentations and made recommendations to finalise their report