Authorities unable to detect fault in Neelam Jhelum hydrpower tunnel, MPs told

ISLAMABAD – National Assembly Committee on Water Reprocess was Thursday informed that authorities are unable to detect the fault in Neelam Jhelum hydrpower tunnel after the passage of 10 days, and it may take a month for finding it out.

The Standing Committee on Water Resources met under the chairmanship of Nawab Muhammad Yousaf Talpur, MNA/Chairman, to discuss the various issues related to M/o Water Resources and its attached departments. Despite the passage of ten days, the failure of the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project could not be detected, official of the Ministry of Water Resources revealed in the Water Resources Committee meeting.

It may take a month to find out the fault in the Neelum Jhelum hydropower project. Giving the detail, it was informed that on July 4, there was a malfunction in the Neelum Jhelum hydropower plant, Secretary Water Resources said.

Neelum Jhelum Power Plant has two tunnels. A tunnel which is three and a half kilometers long, is blocked, Secretary Water Resources Kazim Niaz said. He said that first, water will be extracted from the tunnel. This process of extracting water will be completed in a month, secretary said. The Ministry has spoken to the contractor regarding the failure of Neelum Jhelum Power Plant, he added.

The Committee expressed concern that Indus River Regulatory Authority (IRSA) management failed to develop a proper mechanism of water distribution among the provinces over the period of time due to mismanagement and lack of coordination with the provinces. The Committee therefore, directed that IRSA may develop proper liaison with all provinces and adopt remedial measures to ensure the timely provision of water so that they could fulfill their water requirements accordingly.

| NA body discuses various issues related to M/o Water Resources and its attached departments

It may take a month to find out fault in Neelum Jhelum hydropower project

IRSA officials told the Committee that the current rainfall is less than the total water requirement. Chairman IRSA, while giving a briefing on the water situation after the recent rains, said that there was a lack of water due to lack of rains before July. He said that there is ten percent water in Mangala and more rains are needed to fill the dam, he added.

Our water storage is still less than seventy percent, chairman IRSA said. If there is a shortage of water in Rabi season, think what will happen in Kharif, he added. Chairman IRSA said if the rains are good, the water scarcity can be reduced. If there is not much rain, there will be more than 50pc water shortage in Rabi. The meeting was told about the water used by the provinces that KP used 42pc more water than its share. On the question of India’s water retention, it was told that there is no storage dam on the river Chenab and also on the Jhelum. There is flow, there is no dam on it, he said adding that Wular lake is natural, it is not possible to control it.

The Committee appreciated the Harpo Hydropower Project (HHP) however, directed that management of HHP may ensure the completion of the said project within given timeframe to fulfill the water requirements of the local residents. Earlier, Secretary, M/o Water Resources and Chairman, IRSA briefly apprised the Committee about the efforts made by them to meet the water requirement of the country and problems faced by them in this regard.


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