ISLAMABAD - The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday expressed displeasure over extra-ordinary delay in the construction of Naulong Dam.

The committee meeting chaired by Syed Khurshid Shah, directed concerned authorities to complete the delayed project as soon as possible.

Former chairman Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Shakeel Durrani, while briefing the committee on “Naulong Dam project”, said that the project was on top priority of ex-president Asif Ali Zardari during the previous government.  The then minister for finance Hafiz Sheikh did not released funds for the construction of the project, he said. The initial cost of the dam was nine billion rupees but now it has touched Rs31 billion, Durrani added.

The chairman of the committee said that the project was delayed due to wrong planning of the Wapda.  “If this project would have been started on time this could have helped irrigate over 0.2m acres of land in Balochistan,” he said.

Mehmood Achakzai also asked the reasons for, thrice awarding tender for the project.

Durrani replied that the Wapda was not able to work on the project due to lack of smooth availability of funds.

About the “Safe City Project” in Islamabad, the committee was informed that the project had helped locate 23 missing persons, besides recovering 190 stolen vehicles.

The committee was informed that the “Safe City Project” had helped reduced 60 per cent vehicle thefts in the federal capital.

Out of 410 motorcycles stolen, over 70 have been recovered, the committee was told.

The Nadra chairman said that around 1,700 security cameras had been installed and additional 244 would also be installed.

These cameras can also help in identifying suspicious persons on watch lists, he said.

Responding to a question, the Nadra chairman said the “Safe City Project” was started with the cost of 124 million dollars.

Senator Azam Khan Swati said that the Islamabad police should also be made independent just like the Motorway Police.

Another PAC member Sheikh Rashid pointed out that a large number of civilians have started residing in the diplomatic enclave and resultantly the crime rate has also increased.

Commander Safe City Project Islamabad, while giving briefing to the committee, said no incident of terrorism had occurred in Islamabad during the last four years due to the project.