LAHORE, Sept 2: A writ petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court against the federal government for halting the Diamir Bhasha Dam Project without any legal justification.

Advocate Chaudhry Ahmad Masood Gujjar filed the petition and submitted that the delay in the project would cause a loss of billions of rupees to the public exchequer.

He stated that the president of Pakistan had on Jan 17, 2006, announced a decision for the construction of five multi-purpose reservoirs in the country within 10 to 12 years. He said the Diamir Bhasha Dam was one of the most important projects and the Council of Common Interests had also approved unanimously its construction.

He pointed out that due to delay in the project, the cost of the dam increased to $14 billion from $12.6 billion.

He said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar claimed to have convinced the World Bank to finance the Bhasha Dam without the requirement of a no objection certificate from India and the Asian Development Bank also agreed to become lead finance for the project.

He prayed to the court to direct the government to immediately resume work at the Diamir Bhasha Dam for saving the loss of Rs24.843 billion which had already been spent on the project.

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