Flood protection projects face govt’s apathy

Islamabad –  Flood protection projects stand at the lowest priority of the government as no fund releases have been made during fiscal 2017-18 for 32 urgent nature flood protection programme, it was learnt reliably here Sunday.

The provinces have submitted a demand of Rs11.22 billion in PSDP 2017-18 for 231 projects but the government has allocated only Rs500 million, official sources told The Nation here.

The officials said first the government reduced 231 flood protection projects to 32 and allocated only Rs500 million against the demand of Rs11.224. So far no release of funds has been made against the allocated amount.

Giving the detail, the official said that till to date 1104 flood protection schemes at a cost of Rs11.88 had been executed in the four provinces and Federally-Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJ&K) during the period of 39 years (1978-79) to (2016-17).

For the fiscal 2017-18, irrigation departments of the four provinces and Federal Line Agencies Public Works Department, Irrigation and Hydro Power Directorate, FATA Secretariat and irrigation and small dam organization, Government of AJ&K had submitted budget demand of Rs Rs11.224 billion for execution of urgent nature flood projects through normal/emergent flood programme.

The provinces proposed 231 projects with a total cost of Rs12.38 billion. Punjab proposed nine projects with the cost of Rs3005.92 million, Sindh 16 projects worth Rs 4681.91 million, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 28 projects of Rs1451.32 million, Balochistan 124 projects worth Rs1860 million, Gilgit-Baltistan 31 projects worth Rs1010 million, Fata 10 projects worth Rs60.878 million and AJ&K 13 projects worth Rs310 million. However against the proposed amount of Rs12.38 billion the provinces demanded Rs11.22 billion.

Against the demanded amount of Rs11.22 billion, the federal government allocated only Rs500 million under PSDP (2017-18) for implementation of 32 urgent nature flood protection schemes.

The total estimated cost of the 32 projects was 1445.51 billion, however, the allocation was only Rs500 million. Out of the allocated Rs500 million for 32 projects, Punjab has 45 percent share or four projects with the allocation of Rs 225 million. The estimated cost of the four projects was Rs927 million, Sindh share was 31 percent or five projects with Rs 155 miliion allocation. The estimated cost of the Sindh’s five projects was Rs 710 million. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has a share of 11 percent with an allocation of Rs 55 million for eight projects. The total cost of the KP’s eight projects was Rs58.22 million. Balochistan has 8 percent share with an allocation of Rs40 million for one project. Balochistan project has a total cost of Rs40 million. Gilgit -altistan has only one percent share with an allocation of Rsfive million for five projects against the total cost of Rs109.227 million. Fata has three percent share with an allocation of Rs15 million for its six projects. The total cost of the Fata’s six projects was Rs41.386 million. Similarly AJ&K has one percent share with an allocation of Rs five million for its three projects. The total cost of the projects was Rs29.980 million.13 projects worth Rs 310 million. However against the proposed amount Rs11.224 billion were demanded. For Sindh, GB and AJK the schemes are ongoing and the amount allocated was carried forward from the previous years.

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