ISLAMABAD : Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday called for immediately starting construction work on the Diamer-Bhasha dam and other mega water-related projects and vowed to ensure quality of work and meeting timelines of all the projects.
Chairing a briefing on the national water security strategy and construction of dams to meet agricultural as well as energy requirements of the country, Imran said that ensuring water security was the foremost priority of the government.
“Besides optimum utilisation of the available water resources for agricultural needs, construction of dams will help meet energy requirements at affordable rate,” Imran told the meeting, according to a statement issued here.
He expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far and directed for immediately starting construction activities of the dam, said the statement. He added that ensuring water security was the foremost priority of the government.
The prime minister directed for according priority to the use of local material and expertise during the construction work. “It will provide huge job opportunities to our people. It will also boost construction and related industry and provide a huge stimulus to our economy,” he added.
‘Work on Diamer Bhasha dam to start from May 2019’
The meeting was attended by Water Resources Minister Faisal Wada, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Shibli Faraz, Kashmir & Gilgit-Baltistan Minister Ali Amin Gandapur, Special Assistant on Information Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Bajwa, Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Muzammil Hussain and senior officers.
The prime minister was briefed about progress in resolution of the pending issues related to construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam. He was informed that the issues relating to settlement and detailed roadmap for mobilisation of financial resources etc had been resolved.
The meeting was informed that Diamer-Bhasha project had remained stuck for decades due to various reasons but now it was ready for commencement of physical work. Imran expressed satisfaction over the progress made so far and directed for immediately starting construction work.
The Diamer Bhasha dam will create 16,500 jobs and utilise huge quantity of cement and steel, which will give a boost to the local industry. It will also produce 4,500 megawatt of cheap electricity to meet the country’s energy requirements.
The 6.4-million-acre-foot water storage capacity of the dam will reduce the current water shortage in the country of 12 MAF to 6.1 MAF. It will add 35 years to the life of Tarbela dam by reducing sedimentation.
Work on Mohmand, Diamer-Bhasha dams to start in FY19
The meeting was informed that 1.23 million acres of land will be brought under agriculture due to this dam. It will also be a major source of flood mitigation and prevent damages worth billions of rupees caused by floods each year. The govt would spend Rs78.5 billion on the development of the area around the dam.
The Wapda Chairman briefed the meeting about progress on the construction of Mohmand dam. The prime minister was also apprised of the progress on resolution of pending issued related to Dasu Dam project. Imran directed for ensuring expeditious commencement of work on the Dasu project.
The prime minister was informed that funds had been arranged for Noulong Dam in district Jhal Magsi of Balochistan and that work on the project would commence next year. He was also apprised of progress on the Sindh Barrage project.
The prime minister emphasised on starting the Sindh Barrage as a priority project. “Sindh Barrage has huge benefits of addressing agriculture needs of the province, it will stop erosion of soil from seawater and improve drinking water situation for urban centers of Sindh,” he said.
The prime minister appreciated the efforts of the Water Resources Ministry and Wapda for “pursuing projects passionately to realise our dream of self-reliance in food security, industry and exports”. He also reiterated his emphasis on keeping a close watch on quality of work and meeting the timelines.
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