ISLAMABAD -  The parliamentary committee was informed on Friday that the tenders for the construction of 800MW Munda/Mohmand Dam will be invited by the end of 2017.

The Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas, chaired by Senator Usman Kakar, observed that out of 820 dams constructed in Baluchistan, around 600 dams have been filled with mud because of defective work during construction. The Ministry of Water and Power additional secretary informed the committee that 820 small dams and 8 medium dams have been constructed in Balochistan while work on 234 more small dams and 4 medium dams is under process.

The committee, while discussing the projects in less developed areas, observed that Malakand division witnesses small floods every year but in last few years flood water has been uncontrollable and has brought about severe damage to property. Senators observed that Balochistan has mountainous terrain where rainfall is excessive and despite having much need of water there are no proper water reservoirs. Water reservoirs will not help in flood prevention but will also store water and recharge water.

The committee was informed that National Flood Protection Plan is a programme of ten years and an amount of Rs325 billion is being allocated in budget for purpose. The committee was informed that the climate change is costing Rs400-500 crore annually to Pakistan. It was also informed that much attention will be given to building reservoirs and other flood preventive measure in less developed areas under this plan.

Senator kakar said that although funds were allocated for some dams in the previous year PSDP but so far tender were not invited. Majority of the senators observed that Balochistan needs small dams instead of big ones as they will help the population in better way.

The committee was also given details by different Discos regarding the demand of electricity, allocation and electricity drawn in their respective areas. Qesco representative told the meeting that the transmission lines can handle 900MW as allocated; however, the actual demand of the area is now more than 1700MW. He told the meeting that in city areas there is 12-14 hours loadshedding while in agriculture and rural feeder loadshedding is around 16-18 hours per day.

The committee recommended that feeders of Qesco should be given relief and it should experience the same loadshedding as is the policy of government in other urban and rural areas. The committee also condemned blocking electricity of whole feeder if some of the consumers are not paying bills. The committee directed that action should be taken against the offenders instead of against the law obeying consumers. The committee was also briefed about the targets given by Nepra to respective Discos against line losses.

The water and power additional secretary informed the committee that fund is being arranged for the construction of Munda dam and tenders for the construction work will be invited by the end of this year. Munda/Mohmand Dam, upon construction, will store approximately 1.3 million acre-feet of water and generate 800MW electricity. Besides, the project will help irrigate nearly 17,000 acres of barren land and will be helpful in controlling floods.

The committee showed displeasure over the continuous absence of the federal minister for water and power and minister of State for water and power from the meeting of the committee.

 

The meeting was attended by Senators Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel, Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Mir Kabeer Muhammad Shahi and Khalida Parveen, officials from ministry of Water and Power, Wapda, and chief executive officers of Discos.

 

FAWAD YOUSAFZAI