The Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources in its meeting held on Tuesday at Parliament Lodges, discussed in detail Khisar Dam, Nushkhi and Bhimber Dam, AJK Projects.
Chaired by Senator Shamim Afridi, the meeting was attended by Senator Brig, (R) John Kenneth Williams, Senator Muhammad Yousaf Badini, Senator Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah and senior officers from the Ministry of Water Resources, Planning Division, IRSA along with all concerned.
The meeting commenced with a briefing on issues related to the construction of the Khisar Dam Project. The Committee was informed that the proposed Dam site was located 18 Km from Nushkhi Town, Balochistan. The objective of the project is to recharge the ground water acquifier in the area located downstream of these dams. The Dam will also be instrumental in protecting downstream areas from Flash Floods. Crop yield will also increase in irrigation areas. Socio-economic conditions of the areas population will also increase.
The Committee enquired reasons for delay of the project since execution of work had begun in 2017. It was informed that less allocation of funds was the main cause of lack in progress of work on the dam. The Committee directed that the Finance Division must be summoned in the next meeting. A progress report of the project was demanded as well. The Committee was informed that approved PC-I Cost was PKR 444.001 million, whereas updated revised cost is PKR 381.551 million. The Committee noted that despite being summoned Finance Division fails to attend meetings that entail development work in Balochistan. The Committee was of the decided if the Division fails to attend the next meeting a Privilege Motion will be carried against it.
Deliberating over the work conducted over Bhimber Dam, the Committee was informed that PM AJK desired for the construction of small dam projects on Bhimber Nullah in 2010. WAPDA submitted a PC-II for feasibility study. CDWP approved the PC-II (PKR 86.089) on 29 November, 2013 subject to WAPDA financing and addressing AJK concerns. WAPDA requested Government of AJK to arrange funds, since it was the sole beneficiary of the project. AJK refused funding due to financial constraints. At that WAPDA requested Ministry of Water Resources to consider providing funds through PSDP for the project. The Ministry informed that the project has no allocation in current PSDP; therefore, request to process the PC-I with allocation through PSDP cannot be entertained. The Committee decided to write to the Government of AJK to pay half cost of the dam. A revised PC-II must also be issued.