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Pakistan Deaths
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ISLAMABAD: Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) revealed on Monday that work on the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP) has been stopped due to shelling on the Line of Control (LoC).

This information was shared with the National Assembly Standing Committee on Water, presided over by Nawab Yousuf Talpur.

“The Chinese are not going to the project site due to shelling. Wapda has not sought funds for the project for 2021-2022,” the official added.

Wapda has prioritized its development projects in three categories with respect to funds in 2021-22: Priority -1, mega projects, i.e., Diamer-Bhasha (dam part) and (land acquisition/resettlement), Mohmand Dam Hydropower project and K-4 water supply schemes at an estimated cost of Rs 117 billion.

The officials further stated that Rs 5.963 billion will be required to complete/wind-up six projects if the proposed PSDP is allocated and released.

Priority –II, Wapda has sought funding of Rs 23.796 billion for four projects which are at an advanced stage.

Priority –III, Wapda has sought an allocation of Rs 1.561 billion in PSDP for five projects which are ready to launch.

The Chairman Wapda informed the committee that work on rehabilitation of the affectees of Diamer-Bhasha Dam is in progress.

The Federal Flood Commission (FFC) has sought Rs 10 billion for implementation of emergent flood protection works throughout the country.

The Chairman Standing Committee expressed his annoyance at Water Resources Division for not submitting the proposed PSDP to the Committee before January 31, 2021. However, the official representing the Ministry blamed the provincial governments for the delay.

The Chairman Standing Committee observed that PSDP details provided by the Ministry, after a delay of one month, are still incomplete.

The committee was informed that the projects of Rs 248 billion have been proposed in PSDP for next financial year.

The connection with officials from provinces through a video link was weak due to which discussion on those items was postponed for one week.

One of the committee members, Khalid Magsi, former Minister for Water Resources, said sarcastically that level of misstatement in Pakistan was at a level where machines have stopped responding.

The report of Sub Committee on Rawal Dam was also presented to the committee according to which the stakeholders agreed to open the dam for the general public.

According to an official statement, the Standing Committee approved all projects of Wapda for the FY 2021-22.

The Standing Committee was informed that Wapda demanded Rs 178.282 billion for FY 2019-20 but the Government has released Rs 76.992 billion so far. The projects related to Basha Dam, Mohmand Dam and Greater Katchi Canal have been given first priority. The Standing Committee directed to include the project of Naulong Dam in first priority for the PSDP of 2021-22, so that this significant project of Balochistan may be saved from being delayed. Similarly, the Standing Committee directed that the project of Chirrah Dam may also be included in PSDP of coming financial year so that the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad could be saved from shortage of the water.

The Standing Committee was informed that to collect information related to the glaciers, Glacier Monitoring Network would be established. According to the project, basic data about snowfall on the glaciers and melting of the glaciers would be collected on 34 points and a field office would be established at Skardu whereas Central Monitoring Research Centre would be established in Lahore. The Standing Committee was apprised that this project is of Rs 892 million whereas Rs 225 million was approved for the FY 2021-22. So, the Standing Committee approved Rs 560 million for FY 2021-22 to complete the project of Glacier Monitoring Network.

The Standing Committee approved the projects of billions of rupees including the Hydro Training Institute Mangla, rehabilitation of Hydro Power Project, Dargai, rehabilitation of Hydro Power Project, Chitral, rehabilitation of Hydro Power Station, Warsak Dam, uprising project of Mangla Dam, Tarbela-IV, Tarbela-V, Hydro Power Project Dasu, Khyal Khawar Project, Neelum Jhehlum Hydro Power Project, Golan Gol Project and others.

The meeting was attended by Members of National Assembly, Fazal Muhammad Khan, Ali Nawaz Awan, Sheikh Rashid Shafiq, Dr Muhammad Afzal Khan Dhandla, Ch. Javed Iqbal Warraich, Naureen Farooq Ibrahim, Nuzhat Pathan, Khalid Hussain Magsi and Ehsan-ur-Rehman Mazari. Saleh Muhammad, Parliamentary Secretary for Water Resources was also present in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021