ISLAMABAD: The federal government was not moving ahead on the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project due to multilateral and unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran, parliamentary secretary Shehzadi Umerzadi Tiwana told the National Assembly on Friday.

Responding to a question, Ms Tiwana said that multilateral sanctions were imposed by the United Nations while the unilateral sanctions were imposed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union.

The unilateral sanctions imposed by the US were the most severe amongst all international sanctions — Iran Sanctions Act 1996, Compr­ehensive Iran Sanctions, Accoun­t­ability and Divestment Act 2010 and National Defence Authorisation Act 2012.

In a written reply, the house was informed that the government was committed to the execution of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. Due to international sanctions on Iran, Pakistan issued a force majeure notice to Iran in March 2014.

15 alternative energy projects to be completed by Nov 2018

Pakistan proposed to amend the gas sales and purchase agreement enabling the parties to complete their respective sections of the pipelines within the extended period.

The project also came under discussion during the visit of the Iranian president to Pakistan in March 2016 where both sides agreed to resolve all outstanding issues.

Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq remarked that he had a discussion with the Iranian leadership on the issue and he would continue to do so in future as well.

Alternative energy

Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari said 15 projects of alternative energy would be completed by November 2018 which would add hundreds of megawatts to the national grid.

Answering to a question from Sahibzada Tariqullah, the minister told the house that the projects of solar, bagasse and wind — with a generation capacity of about 600MW — were being set up in Sindh and Punjab.

In a written reply, he said these projects would be completed in Sahiwal, Layyah, Mianwali, Pind Dadan Khan, Jhimpir, Rahim Yar Khan, Jhang and Gharo.

Among them, he pointed out, the most important ones would be eight wind power projects in Jhimpir of 50MW each which would become operational in different months of 2018. Each of the projects would cost about $106 million, he added.

Mr Leghari said that by December, consumers can use net metering system through which they can sell spare solar electricity to power companies.

A proposal for the construction of 132kV double circuit transmission line from Barikot to 132kV Daggar grid station was approved and a survey was carried out. It was expected that the work would be completed within one year, he said.

New companies would be allowed in future to transmit electricity by using network of the distribution companies, added the minister.

##Safe water

Parliamentary Secretary for Science and Technology Abdul Ghaffar Dogar informed the house in a written reply that according to the World Health Organisation and a Unicef report, only 36 per cent of Pakistan’s population — 41pc urban and 32pc rural — was using safe drinking water.

Results of the water quality monitoring efforts of the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) indicated that 69pc to 85pc samples of water were contaminated, he revealed.

He said that provision of safe drinking water fell within the purview of provincial governments after the 18th Amendment.

However, said Mr Dogar, the PCRWR and R&D organisations working under the ministry of science and technology had disseminated its research findings regarding the water quality status in the country to both provincial and local governments.

The federal government established 24 water quality monitoring laboratories all over the country, he added.

Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2017