ISLAMABAD

Director Small and Medium Dams, Shahid Hamid on Wednesday surprised the Senate Standing Committee on Water on Power by disclosing that his department was unable to even initiate the construction process of 12 dams, which had to be started in 2010. The Senate body was also informed funds allocated for dams were also used on other projects.

“We have received Rs.1.5 billion for the construction of Naulang dam and in present budget Rs460 million were allocated for this dam”, Hamid said while answering a question, adding that this money allocated for the dam has been used for Kacchi Kanal project.

The committee chairman Zahid Khan came down hard on the WAPDA officials and asked that why the funds were diverted, whereas the country is facing severe electricity and water crisis.

This discussion became heated when Committee was informed that nothing has been allocated for the construction of new dams in KPK, and work on many other dams was discontinued due to law and order situation. “When you divert funds of one approved project into other, it ring bells, it is always suspicious”, Khan said.

It was also learnt that due to delay of years and years the construction cost of the dams has been increased many folds.

“Due to delays Nandipur project cost has escalated from Rs22 billion to Rs29 billion”, the officials informed the committee.

It was also revealed that Gabir Dam, which had to be completed in 2009 in Rs.2.9 billion budget, would now be completed in Rs.9 billion. The committee expressed dissatisfaction over not constructing any new dam in Punjab and KPK. “Government is busy in metro bus service, whereas the most important issue which is lack of water and electricity has been ignored in the current budget”, Committee expressed.

The officials of WAPDA informed committee that nobody bidded for Bara Dam, whose PC-1 has been approved but due to security reasons no party was interested in its construction.

The committee after a long discussion observed that there was lack of will in the bureaucracy to carry out projects and it was not doing its job effectively and with full determination.

The committee came hard on water and power officials including Managing Director PEPCO for presenting false and fabricated figures.

Secreatry Nargis Sethi, who has been protecting her ministry officials against the wrath of committee members, also scolded Pakistan Electric Power Company Managing Director Zargham Khan for presenting wrong data of electricity demand and supply and not informing about line losses or power theft of 1200MW daily. To cool down members, Sethi admitted that without the involvement of staff electricity theft was not possible.

The Committee called Planning Commission officials in the next meeting to explain why they announced but not allocated proper funds for the construction of water reservoirs.

The committee also directed Nargis Sethi to check who was actually using 28 vehicles worth 180 million, which were bought for Neelam Jehlum project.