The Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power on Thursday expressed displeasure over the insufficient allocation and delay in release of funds for the construction of Kurram Tangi Dam and asked for a detailed report by end of this month.
The committee observed that lack of coordination among concerned departments has caused delays in the dam’s construction and also escalated the cost of the project.
Members maintained that Kurram Tangi Dam is an important project for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), as it will not only boost agriculture but also enhance power generation capacity of the province. They said the project will also ensure socio-economic uplift in backward areas. The committee meeting was chaired by Senator Muhammad Zahid Khan.
Committee members said the delay in releasing funds for land acquisition is one of the major hurdles. They directed the water and power ministry, planning commission and the finance division to coordinate workflow to ensure that funds are provided on time.
The committee directed Pesco to expedite construction of 220 KV grid stations at Chakdara, besides early construction of two other 132 KV grid stations at Munda and Damkatta. It also directed the concerned departments to submit details of the allocation of funds for the construction of the grid stations.
Moreover, the committee sought progress reports on work being done at Mansehra, Kohat and DI Khan grid stations. The committee also recommended provision of electricity to Zhob, Balochistan from DI Khan and directed Pesco to carry out a feasibility study.
Senator Salim Saifullah Khan asked Pesco authorities to ensure early upgradation of grid stations at Tajazal and Darra Pazu, Lakki Marwat, where people are experiencing low voltage and prolonged power outages.
People in K-P experience prolonged electricity loadshedding including in the provincial metropolis, while projects for new grid stations and dams remain on the drawing board because of shortage of funds or delay in their release.
After the national assembly passed the 18th amendment, K-P government can now execute work on dams with the capacity to generate above 60 watts of electricity.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2012.
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