ISLAMABAD - A Parliamentary Committee yesterday observed that despite the haughty claims about the development of Gwadar the government has failed to resolve the water and electricity issues of the area.

The documents of the Ministry regarding power generation is presenting a rosy picture but the condition on the ground is very different,and people of the country are facing severe loadshedding, Senator Tahir Mashhadi said while presiding over the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning Development and Reforms here.

The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal, Senators, Secretary Planning, officials of the Ministry of Water and Power and other concerned officials.

The Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, while expressing his views about delay in projects in Balochistan, said that no project in the province can be completed unless the capacity of the Local Governments and provincial departments were enhanced.

He said that billion of rupees were spend on the water supply schemes in Quetta but there is no developmental work on the ground.

While blaming the provincial officials for the delay in the execution of Projects, he said that projects are facing delays mainly because of provincial departments.

“Besides facing the capacity problem, the provincial departments have shortage of good people,” he added. He said that they have requested Chinese to incorporate Bhasha Dam in CPEC umbrella projects.

Secretary Planning while briefing the Committee informed that 10400 MW early harvest projects will be completed under the CPEC.

He said that Thar power plants would start working in three years and will cost $ 2 billion.

Sachal power plant 124 MW will start work in next two months and 300 MW power generations from Quaid-e-Azam power will resume from December.

The officials of the Water and Power Ministry informed that the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and European Union are working on a project for the micro hydro power generation.

“The Federal government also brings such a model in AJK and GB,” they said ,adding, that they are negotiating with German donors for the Micro Hydro Project. Secretary planning said that they are working on Diamir Bhasha dam and for speedy implementation they are trying to incorporate it in the CPEC umbrella projects.

Senator Mohsin Leghari said that “our electricity tariff is unrealistic; we don’t want only electricity but cheap electricity.

Senator Mashadi said that hydro power is the cheapest source of energy but the government is undertaking expensive thermal power generation. “The consumers are finally going to take the burden of expensive electricity,” he added.  

Senator Saifullah Magsi said that Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has inaugurated Jhal Magsi dam three years ago but, so far, no funds were allocated for the project.

Projects worth billion are being announced for Balochistan but in PSDP only few million are being allocated , he added. Chinese are not coming to Pakistan out of their love but for doing their business, Senator Mashhadi said.

Senator Siraj-ul-Haq informed the Committee about meetings with GB’s officials and said that the province has the capacity of 40,000 MW Hydropower generation which is the cheapest source of energy.

Senator Siraj-ul-Haq said that for Sahiwal Power plant, instead of utilising local coal, the government is importing coal for Indonesia and Malaysia. Officials of PPIB replied that it is hard to extract the coal from Thar and its quality is also not good.

They further said that “We don’t have enough coal to operate this power plant,”.

On the issue of construction of 100 small dams in Balochistan, the Committee was informed that in 2008-09 20 dams were completed in the province while in second phase around 26 dams would be completed.

A total of 444 small dams were completed in the province so far, the Irrigation Department officials informed, adding they are getting positive response from the farmers.