The Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources in its meeting held on Monday at Parliament Lodges, Islamabad discussed in detail sedimentation at Tarbela Dam and measures taken to address it; plot allocation to affectees of Tarbela Dam and encroachment of the same.
Chaired by Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, the meeting was attended by Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Taj Haider, Senator Gurdeep Singh, Senator Dr. Muhammad Humayun Mohmand, and senior officers from the Ministry of Water Resources, WAPDA, along with all concerned.
Discussing sedimentation at Tarbela Dam and measures taken to address it, members were of the view that while looking at ways to desilt the dam, measures must be taken to allow sediment flow to a certain degree, since this ensures land fertility. The Committee stressed the need for moving closer towards nature and adopting alternative energy solutions crucial for the survival and growth. The Ministry was directed to formulate a report that would outline long and short term measures to deal with theissue. A detailed briefing on Bhasha Dam is to made in the next meeting as well.
Reviewing details of plot allocation to affectees of Tarbela Dam Commission, the Committee was informed that the number of affectees that have been compensated is 1744. 450 affectees filed writ petitions before Peshawar High Court Abbotabad Bench for allotment of alternate agricultural land and enhancement of compensation against WAPDA, Federal Government, Government of Punjab and Sindh. Based on information provided by 450 affectees, only one affectee was found eligible with respect to allotment of alternate agricultural land as per eligibility criteria of Federal Government policy of 1967-68. Since the case is in Court and is subjudice, the Committee stressed the need for the perspective of both parties emphasizing an out of Court settlement.
Discussing unauthorized occupancy of allotted land to affectees of Tarbela Dam in Punjab and Sindh, WAPDA was of the view that no such information regarding this issue was available with it as it is the domain of the provincial governments. Moreover it was suggested that if the Committee comes across any such case it may forward the same to the Ministry.