ISLAMABAD             -       Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani on Tuesday said that no one could make any decision on construction of Kalabagh Dam without permission from provinces and approval from Council of Common Interests (CCI).

Giving his ruling on the matter in the Upper House of the parliament on raising objections from the senators of opposition, he said that no work was possible on the project without having consent from provinces. 

Assuring the house on making any such decision without discussing the matter in the relevant forum, Adviser to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad dispelled the impression of making decision without approval from provinces.

In a written reply, Minister for Water Resources Muhammad Faisal Vawda said that WAPDA had prepared a comprehensive plan to address the water scarcity issue by storing floodwater during high flow season and utilise the same during lean season.

He said that the federal government was providing funds for construction of 60 small, medium, large dam projects in the country through Federal Public Sector Development Program. These projects aim to provide water for irrigation, agriculture and drinking purposes.

He said that it was a fact that per capita water availability in Pakistan in 1951 was 5,260 m3 per annum, which is constantly decreasing and at present has reduced to less than 1,000 m3 per annum per capita due to increasing population, which is the stage of water scarcity.

Sharing details about Diamer-Basha Dam, Faisal Vawda said that so far 32,139 acres (86 percent) of land has been acquired out of total required land of 37,419 acres and the construction of one Resettlement Model Village at Harpan Das was in progress with overall progress of 95 percent.

He said that construction of Project Colony at Thor was in progress while construction of Right Bank Periphery Road was under way. He added two contracts RBPR-01 and 02 had been awarded and the progress achieved was 68.50 percent and 40 percent, respectively. 

He said that the procurement of contractor for RBPR-03, 04 was in progress while construction of Shatial Thor Nullah Bypass (42 km) by NHA as deposit work was in progress with 51 percent overall progress.

He said that 3.6 MW Thor Hydropower Project was operational since June 26, 2019. Electricity was being supplied to locals as goodwill gesture till commencement of work on main dam. 

He said that 3 MW Thak Powerhouse was under construction and progress was 94 percent. He said that for procurement of consultancy services for construction design, construction supervision and contract administration, the contract for consultancy services was signed on May 11, 2020.