ISLAMABAD: Senator Usman Kakar has said that the donations received in the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund “are not enough” to construct the big reservoirs; therefore the chief justice of Pakistan should divert the funds for the construction of small dams in Balochistan.
He was speaking at a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning on Thursday. “Around Rs1,500 billion is needed for Bhasha Dam,” the senator said and called upon CJP Saqib Nisar to render the collected Rs7-8 billion in the dams fund to Balochistan, so that the people can be provided clean drinking water.
Meanwhile, the committee referred the inquiry report of the Ministry of Planning regarding Rs890 million desalination plant in Gwadar to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for further inquiry. The report was prepared on the recommendations of the committee.
Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani, who chaired the meeting, was informed that the ministry had dispatched a team comprising senior officials to Gwadar to personally witness the status of desalination plant and to inquire the stakeholders responsible for building and maintaining the plant.
The report said the plant was shut down and not filtering a single drop of water. According to the report, there was a fault in the design of the plant that’s why it was closed down after running for a few days.
Senator Kauda Babar said billions of rupees were spent on the project but due to the negligence of authorities concerned, the plant could not become functional. He said the local people had to spend thousands of rupees daily for purchasing water from tankers for their daily use.
The Balochistan Development Authority chairman said the plant was installed in April 2016 and it remained functional for over a month and produced 700,000 gallons of water per day. However, he said that due to high ratio of silt in the intake water, the plant broke down.
Meanwhile, the committee recommended that the planning ministry should consider increasing the number of small dams in Balochistan from current 100 to 500.
“Balochistan neither has canal system nor underground resources of water; therefore the number of small dams across the province must be increased,” Agha Shahzaib Durrani said.
The committee also recommended that the ministry should immediately release the required Rs1,200 million for building the remaining small dams of the 100 small dams project. The meeting was informed that the 100 dam project in Balochistan consisted of five packages.
In the first package 20 dams had already been completed at a cost of Rs2.4 billion, while in the second package, 22 out of 26 dams had been completed at a cost of Rs4.4 billion whereas in the third package 20 more dams are scheduled to be completed by 2020 at a cost of Rs7.6 billion. In the fourth and fifth packages, 23 and 11 dams would be built by 2026.
The meeting was further informed that total area of 66 dams of three packages was 2,154 million acres whereas total storage capacity of these dams was around 2467 million acre feet.
[WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP]
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