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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the Punjab government’s response regarding the construction of Daducha Dam through a public-private partnership.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, while hearing the case regarding the dam’s construction, said delays in this project would not be tolerated.

The project has already been delayed, he said, and construction of this and other dams should be ensured.

The chief justice remarked that those who created hurdles in starting this project should also be held responsible.

The secretary of the Punjab Irrigation Department told the SC that the project has been taken over by the department and after the dam is constructed water will be supplied to Rawalpindi residents through the Water and Sanitation Agency.

The chief justice said the project was approved in 2015 but the dam has not been constructed yet. The Rs6 billion dam project was first proposed by the Rawalpindi Development Authority and Small Dams Organisation in 2001 in the Daducha village.

In 2006, the Defence Housing Authority bought 18,000 kanals where the dam was to be built and launched a housing scheme as a joint venture with Bahria Town. But on Aug 4, 2015, the SC on suo motu directed the Punjab govt to construct the dam at the original site.

The govt froze the sale and purchase of land in the area soon after the court’s directives. The provincial government also allocated funds for the construction of the dam in its 2017-18 development plan, but work has not been started.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018