ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly Standing Committee on Water and Power has expressed its grave concerns over increasing electricity shortfall and asked for immediate measures to decrease it while Wapda Chairman said USAID has assured a funding worth $3.5 billion for Diamer-Bhasha Dam.

The NA body met on Wednesday under its chairman Ghulam Mustafa Shah. Chairman Wapda Raghib Abbas while briefing the committee told that work on Bhasha Dam project has been started with governmental funding. So far Rs9 billion has been spent on the project. He said the ADB had imposed conditions particularly evolving consensus and social and power sector reforms which has been fulfilled but no funding was provided by the bank. Even no donor was ready to fund the project but so far USAID has given hope to fund $3.5billion and a meeting is likely in next week with the American aid agency. He also assured the body that appointments of consultants would soon be completed.

Upon this, a committee member Sajjadul Hassan said due to conflicting location of the project no one would provide funding and it (the project) would be Kala Bagh Two. Chairman Wapda said when India is not ready to solve the Kashmir issue then why should we accept.

He said more 450MW of electricity would be injected in hydel power system of the country till June of the current year (2013) while in 2016 with Terbela extension project 1410MW electricity would be injected in the system to end energy woes of the country. So far around 46 per cent work of Neelum-Jehlum Project has been completed.

About electricity shortfall, Special Secretary Water and Power Himayyat Ullah was of the view that at present shortfall has reached to 4600MW due to obvious reason of reduction in hydel power generation in the country.