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Event Title: Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources

Event Date: 2019-03-26

Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources in its meeting has expressed serious concerns regarding delay in payment of compensation amount to the affectees of Mirani Dam and has directed Chief Secretary Balochistan, and Secretary Irrigation, Revenue  and Finance to be present in the next meeting. The Committee was told that a total amount of 3500 million was to be paid in compensation with half share each of Federal and Balochistan government and even after twelve years of the incident many affectees are still living in slums and haven’t been compensated for the loss in 2007 floods in Makran Division. It may be noted here that the Mirani Dam was completed in June 2007 at normal reservoir capacity prepared for normal flood level but the area faced a super flood only one month after the completion of the project and hence the area experienced devastating results for land, houses, people, gardens and livestock.

The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Shamim Afridi here at the Parliament House on Tuesday and was attended among others by Senators Waleed Iqbal, Syed Sabir Shah, Agha Shahzeb Durrani, Sana Jamali, Yousaf Badini, Gianchand, Joint Secretary Water Resources, CEO Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project Company (NJHPC), and officials from Planning Commission, Balochistan Government and WAPDA. The Committee was told that the compensation has been made to 1634 affectees out of a total of 2192 affectees and the people left are mostly those whose gardens and plantations were destroyed. The officials said that the prices have gone up over the years and compensation money should also be proportionate. The Committee stressed on the need to learn lessons from this disaster and having efficiently drawn plans of action.

The Committee also discussed the matter of inclusion of sewerage water into the water being released from Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project. The CEO NJHPC gave a detailed briefing on the matter and told the Committee that the environmental impact study was conducted and measurements were considered that how much outflow of water will be able to dilute the sewerage input in the water.

The Committee also expressed strong displeasure at the delay in finalisation of PC-1 and tendering process of Naulong Dam in Jhal Magsi, Balochistan since it was first initiated in 2009. It was told that the project PC-1 has been prepared by WAPDA at an estimate of 28 billion and tendering will start soon. The project will be funded 20% by PSDP and 80% by ADP. The Committee noted that with delay the price of project as well as compensation to affectees will keep increasing.