ISLAMABAD         -        Chairman WAPDA Lt Gen (r) Muzammil Hussain Wednesday said that if today consensus was developed on Kalabagh Dam they can embark work on the project tomorrow. “We can start work on Kalabagh Dam if consensus was developed by the political parties on the project,” chairman WAPDA said while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Special Initiatives.

National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, which met with Junaid Akbar in the chair, was informed by chairman WAPDA that work on Bhasha Dam will commence during 2020 and power generation from the project will start from 2028.

Chairman WAPDA said that work on Bhasha Dam will commence this year and generation from the project will start from 2028. The dam will generate 4,500 MW of electricity. Rs 13 billion fund has been collected in Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam fund and this amount has been deposited in the account of Supreme Court for 10 years, he added.

Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain said that the total cost of Diamer-Bhasha Dam is $15 billion. PC-I of the project has been approved in which Rs 500 billion has been allocated for construction of water reservoir and Rs 700 billion for power generation.

The WAPDA chairman said that electricity at low cost would come down within three to four years after the completion of some of the hydropower projects and off loading of IPPs. Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project has been completed with the cost of Rs 122 billion with the generation capacity of 1410 MW, which is more efficient than existing Terbela Units, chairman WAPDA said. He said that the project has generated 6,347 billion units since commissioning.

It was further informed that Dasu Dam would be completed with the cost of $ 8 billion and would generate 4,000 MW and its first unit would be online in 2024. Similarly, Mohamamd Hydropower project would cost Rs $ 3 billion and it has the capacity to produce of 800 MW. Construction work on multipurpose Mohmand Dam Hydropower Project would be completed during high flow season in 2025 as per the timelines, he said.

Regarding the water storage in the country, chairman WAPDA said that Pakistan has water storage capacity of 30 days while India has 120 days and Egypt has storage of 700 days. Muzzamil Hussain said that WAPDA is facing problems due to lack of coordination with National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC).He said that in the past NTDC was part of WAPDA and requested the Committee to recommend that NTDC should be made again part of WAPDA to overcome the coordination issue.   

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives said that progress in CPEC projects is satisfactory and with the passage of time the scope of participation of private sector is going to widen. He said that the participation of Chamber of Commerce and people directly involved in business with China will be ensured. He further said that we need to increase collaboration in manufacturing and agriculture sectors. He assured Ministry’s support for projects of federal nature, suggested by the members.

The Bill titled “the General Statistics (Reorganization) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was deferred till the next meeting of the Committee.

In discussion on the infrastructure and allied works on Metro Bus Service Peshawer Morr to New Islamabad Airport, the Member Planning NHA informed that work scope includes civil and structure work. The project was approved by ECNEC in March 2018, civil work including metro bus corridor, underpasses, bridges and interchanges are substantially completed whereas finishing work and electro mechanical work are in progress and all the infrastructure works will be completed before 30 the March, 2020. The budgetary proposals relating to PSDP for the financial year 2020-21 was presented before the Committee and the Committee recommended the PSDP.