Islamabad - The ground-breaking ceremony of much-awaited 800MW Mohmand Dam project has been postponed once again and no new date is in sight yet as both Wapda and water ministry are unaware of the updated schedule.

“We are looking to the Prime Minister Secretariat for the new dates for the ground breaking of Mohmand dam as currently we don’t have any intimation from there,” a senior official of water ministry told The Nation.

The scribe contacted at least three officials of the ministry and Wapda (Water and Power Development Authority) to know the new dates but there were no official word on it.

However, a source in the ministry of water resources on the condition of anonymity said the ground breaking is likely to take place during last week of January or early February.

All the arrangements are ready and it just requires a green signal from the political leadership to undertake the ground breaking of the project, said the source.

The ground-breaking of the project was earlier scheduled to take place in the first week of January and Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Justice Saqib Nisar were to jointly inaugurate the project.

But the ceremony was later rescheduled to the January 13. And now it has once again been postponed due to some observations given by the outgoing Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar.

Reportedly, the CJP complained to the water minister that the government had changed the date without taking him in the loop.

“The government does not even have the courtesy to ask the chief justice on changing the date; now I might not go to the groundbreaking ceremony,” he said expressing his annoyance.

Soon after the remarks of the chief justice the government postponed the ground breaking ceremony scheduled for January 13.

Justice Saqib is retiring on January 17 and, understandably, he wished to be part of the inauguration ceremony as it was he who had spearheaded the efforts for construction of new dams in the country.

When contacted Water Resources Joint Secretary Mehr Ali Shah said that the ceremony scheduled for Sunday was postponed and no new date has been fixed yet.

Mohmand Dam is proposed to be constructed across Swat River at a distance of 5kms from existing Munda Headworks and about 48kms from Peshawar.

The total proposed cost of the project is Rs309 billion and the contract of its construction has been awarded to a joint venture of CGGC and DESCON.

The total storage capacity of the dam is estimated at 1.2 MAF (million acre feet) and it will generate 800MW of electricity.

The dam will irrigate the barren land of KP and 13 to 14 cusecs of water from the dam will be supplied to Peshawar. Moreover, it will protect the low lying areas of Charsadda, Mardan and Nowshera from flooding.

SBP update on fund collection

An update issued by the State Bank of Pakistan says that the fund created for dams construction has so far received Rs9.132 billion.

The countrywide contribution to the fund stood at Rs7.912 billion while the remaining Rs1.22 billion were contributed by the expatriate Pakistanis, according to an update issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Pakistanis living in USA remained the top among the foreign countries who donated Rs 443.572 million followed by UK from where a sum of Rs 234.642 million had been transferred to the dams fund so far.

Similarly, the fund also received Rs 132.4 million through the SMS service of various cellular companies in Pakistan.

According to details issued by the SBP, the top ten institutional donors included Employees of government of Punjab with contribution of Rs 1.09 billion, Pak Army Rs 582.071 million, HQ CWO SPD Rs 201.093 million, Bahria Town, Rs 110.12 million and PAF with Rs 100.28 million.

Meanwhile, the SBP in a circular directed the banks not to charge any service fee including interchange fee, merchant discount rate, transaction fee etc. on the donations/payments made to the dam fund through payment cards (debit, credit or prepaid cards).

 

The Chief Justice of Pakistan had established a Supreme Court of Pakistan Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dams Fund on July 10, 2018 to raise funds for the two dams.

Later, the Prime Minister announced to join efforts with the Chief Justice for the cause. Accordingly, the fund was renamed as “Prime Minister and Chief Justice of Pakistan Fund for Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dam”.

 

 

Expatriates contributing massively: CJP

CJP Saqib Nisar said yesterday that the motive behind the campaign ‘I am Pakistan’ around the world was to create awareness among the Pakistani expatriates about the importance of dams construction in the country.

Talking to a private TV channel he said the campaign had gained momentum not only in Pakistan but also in other countries where Pakistanis were living in large numbers.

These expatriates were not only themselves contributing massively towards the cause in terms of money and time but also collecting funds from others. He said he would soon visit North America in connection with the fund raising campaign.

To a question, the chief justice said the idea to start the fund raising movement for dams struck his mind when he came to know about the looming water crisis in the country. To another question, he said around 14 billion dollars was required for the construction of Mohmand Dam .

 

Mohmand

Dam ceremony

postponed again