ISLAMABAD    -   The Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources was informed on Friday that only 30 percent affectees of Tarbella Dam were compensated since 1970s while remaining have not been compensated.

The committee which met with Senator Shamim Afridi in Chair was informed by Senator Samina Saeed that Tarbella project was started in 1971-72 and completed in 1985-86 but since then only 30 percent affectees of the dam were compensated.

However, the member WAPDA did not agree with the claim made by Senator Samina Saeed. The committee was informed that about 82109 acres of land was acquired by WAPDA from district Haripur, Manshera, Swabi, Tribal Areas of KP and District Attock of Punjab. Member WAPDA said that as per their record all affectees had been compensated and even if anyone was left the authority was ready to compensate him. WAPDA had allotted 13459 commercial and residential plots to the affectees, he disclosed. Besides agriculture land was also allotted to the affectees of the project in Punjab and Sindh, he added.  

Samina Saeed was however remained firm on her claim that only 30 percent affectees of the dam were compensated.

The committee constituted a three members sub-committee headed by Senator Sabir Shah with Walid Iqbal and Shahzaib Durrani as its members. The sub-committee will submit report to the committee within two months. The committee also directed WAPDA to provide record of those who had been compensated and asked Samina Saeed to submit list of those who were not compensated to the sub-committee. 

On the issue of water distribution among the provinces and non installation of telemetry system, the committee expressed concern and directed the authorities concerned to submit PC-1 of the telemetry system within 15 days. The committee expressed serious concern over the distribution of water which could not be fair unless water availability data was authentic.

Chairman Indus River System Authority (IRSA) Zahid Abbas in his briefing to the committee said that a telemetry system was installed in 2004 but failed due to technical problems. He said the IRSA through a World Bank loan processed the telemetry project again last year and two companies participated in the bidding. However, because of some technical issues, the IRSA decided to go for rebidding which was objected to by the World Bank and cancelled the loan.

Later, it was decided to implement the telemetry system through internal resources of the IRSA for which the WAPDA should prepare a PC-1 keeping in mind experiences of the previous telemetry system. 

He said the telemetry system required about Rs.670 million while about Rs.860 million were currently available with the IRSA collected through the cess. He said the water regulator was currently awaiting the PC-1 from the WAPDA.

WAPDA’s member water told the committee that it would finalize the PC-1 in about 10 days. He explained that delay in the finalization of PC-1 was due to incorporation of observations regarding reasons in the failure of previous system. He said the revised design would ensure that there was minimum possible human interference to avoid weaknesses of the past.