NA body approves WAPDA projects for FY-2021-22

ISLAMABAD:The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Water Resources on Monday approved all the projects of WAPDA for the financial year 2021-22 and directed the government to include Naulong and Chirrah dams in the next budget.

The committee, which met with Nawab Muhammad Yousaf Talpur in the chair, discussed the implementation status of its previous recommendations, and the PSDP 2021-22 of Ministry of Water Resources and its attached departments.

The committee was informed that the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) had demanded Rs 178,282 million for FY 2019-20, out of which Rs 76,992 million had been released so far.

It was told that WAPDA had divided its projects in three categories. The projects related to Bhasha Dam, Mohmand Dam and Greater Katchi Canal had been given top priority.

The committee noted that the Naulong Dam was an important project for Balochistan, which should not delay further and directed the government to include it in the top priority projects of the PSDP 2021-22.

Similarly, it also directed that the project of Chirrah Dam should also be included in the next PSDP so that water shortage issue in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad could be addressed.

The committee was informed that the Ministry of Water Resources faced problems to compile the PSDP as some provinces did not submit their development proposals.

The committee directed that in its next meeting, the PSDP details related to the Federal Flood Commission, IRSA and other departments, attached to the Ministry of Water Resources be submitted before it.

It voiced that it was interested in timely completion of the projects related to water resources, as any delay in that regard might cause loss to the national exchequer.

The committee was informed that the Glacier Monitoring Network would be established to collect information about to the glaciers.

According to the project, basic data about snowfall on the glaciers and their melting would be collected on 34 points. A field office would be established at Skardu and Central Monitoring Research Centre in Lahore. Its estimated cost was Rs 892 million whereas Rs 225 million was approved for it in the FY 2021-22.

However, the committee directed that Rs 560 million should be approved for FY 2021-22 to complete the project.

It approved the projects of billions of rupee,s including the Hydro Training Institute Mangla, rehabilitation of Hydro Power Project Dargai, Hydro Power Project Chitral and Hydro Power Station Warsak Dam, and uprising projects 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 the 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. Ch Shoukat Ali Bhatti and Saleh Muhammad, Parliamentary Secretary for Water Resources, and senior officials of relevant departments were also present in the meeting.

The WAPDA chairman, irrigation secretaries of Punjab and Balochistan and additional secretary irrigation Sindh attended the meeting through video link.