ISLAMABAD - Chairman Water and Power Development Authority Lt. General (retd) Muzammil Hussain, on Monday, informed the Supreme Court that Diamer-Bhasa Dam would be completed in July 2028 while Mohmand Dam’s first power unit would start functioning in December 2024.

This was told before a five-member special bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed, while hearing the implementation of its directives regarding construction of Diamer-Basha and Mohmand dams.

 In the beginning of the proceeding, Justice Gulzar took notice of the crowded courtroom where litigants were sitting close to each other. Expressing his annoyance over it, the CJP asked why the SOPs about social distancing were being neglected. The Chief Justice ordered the irrelevant people to leave the courtroom and said that observing SOPs was for the safety of the people from coronavirus.

Lt. General Muzammil who also heads the Implementation Committee of Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dams (ICBMD), told that the federal government had provided Rs15 billion funds for Mohmand Dam while another amount of Rs15 billion would be provided soon.

He submitted that the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) had given approval for the construction of the dams. He added that the contract of Mohmand Dam had already been awarded and the mobilization work commenced and all the three units would be fully operational in July 2025.

A representative of State Bank of Pakistan, through video-link from Karachi, informed the bench that as the policy rate had reduced in the country, the rate of treasury bills had also gone down. He told the court that the investment of Dams Funds was secured in T-bills, otherwise the amounts could have been invested in the stock-exchange, but the risk factor was very high in the stock market.

He said that on the direction of the top court the State Bank wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ministry sent reminder to the Pakistani embassies abroad to facilitate Pakistanis who would like to donate for the Dam funds.

It was June 13, 2019 when the apex court had decided to invest Supreme Court and Prime Minister Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dams Funds in National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).

On July 10, 2018, former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had established Supreme Court of Pakistan Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams to raise funds for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams. When Prime Minister Imran Khan announced to join efforts with the Chief Justice for the construction of dams then the name of the Fund was changed as Supreme Court and Prime Minister Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dams Fund. The amount on June 13 in the Fund was Rs10.66973billion. Later, the case was deferred for six months for further proceedings.