The Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources was held on Monday. Chaired by Senator Shammim Afridi, the meeting was attended by Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Agha Shahzaib Khan Durrani, Senator Ahmed Khan, Senator Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Senator Mir Muhammad Yousuf Badini, Senator Walid Iqbal and senior officers of the Ministry of Water Resources, Department of Irrigation, Punjab. Federal Minister for Water Resources, Muhammad Faisal Vawda also attended the meeting.
The issues that were taken up included the Chiniot Dam Project, the Mohmand Dam Project and status of PSDP Fund releases to Naulong Dam, Ichar Nullah Dam and Manchura Dam.
The meeting commenced with discussion on the Chiniot Dam. The Committee was informed that this was a multi-purpose dam that would have multifarious affects on flood mitigation, water storage, power generation, domestic water supply, ground water recharge. It will also impact tourism that will uplift the socio-economic conditions of the area. The environmental affects and impact of this dam were deliberated upon in great detail. The Committee was informed that various options have been weighed so that the people of that area benefit the most.
The Committee asserted that for any project to be successful it was imperative that transparency of the process be maintained. Regarding the Mohmand Dam it was revealed that the bidding process was according to the rules. The Committee was briefed about the process and it was seen that there was no ambiguity in it. WAPDA assured the Committee that it is taking keen interest in the project and that it is due to be completed in five years instead of the five year eight months quoted initially.
Deliberating over Naulong Dam the Committee showed displeasure regarding delay in its work, despite the funds. Chairman Committee, Senator Shamim Afridi while discussing issues of tendering and prequalification said that WAPDA must revisit prequalification criteria to accommodate local companies. He said that it is a pity that despite having requisite machinery and know how local companies are not considered.
The Committee recommended that the issue of Naulong Dam must be taken up exclusively in another meeting.