SC seeks govt plans about Nai Gaj dam funds

Updated 01 Dec 2018

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The court has already issued notices to the Planning Commission, Wapda and the govts of Sindh and Balochistan. — AFP/File
The court has already issued notices to the Planning Commission, Wapda and the govts of Sindh and Balochistan. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the federal government to come up with its plans about releasing funds for the construction of Nai Gaj dam in Dadu district of Sindh.

The directive was issued to the federal government by a three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar that had taken up a petition moved through senior counsel Rasheed A. Razvi highlighting hurdles in the way of Nai Gaj dam’s construction.

The court had already issued notices to the Planning Commission, Wapda and the provincial governments of Sindh and Balochistan in this case.

The petitioner sought a directive for allocation of sufficient funds to complete Nai Gaj dam’s construction as early as possible.

Nai Gaj is a hill torrent which emanates from Khuzdar district of Balochistan and after passing through plains of Kutch it eventually enters Manchar lake. The Nai Gaj area remains dry for eight months and gets water in four months during monsoon season. After Manchar lake attains its peak level and no more remains in a position to receive water in monsoon season, water flows from Nai Gaj often devastate flood-protection bunds and inundate agricultural lands.

After inundating agricultural lands and devastating houses and standing crops, the monsoon water falls into the sea and, as such, a huge amount of water is wasted, the petition says.

Apart from serving as continuous flow of fresh water to Manchar lake, which will improve the ecology of the lake, the Nai Gaj dam will also serve as a lifeline for the people of this mountainous region in Dadu district with the potential of changing their socio-economic conditions.

The petition highlights that construction of the dam is blocking the inflow of a huge quantity of fresh water to Manchar lake. For improving the situation, Wapda has proposed 50 cusecs of continued piped water supply to the lake from the dam.

The petition seeks a directive for the government to provide early funds for completion of the project as well as consider increasing up to 100 cusecs fresh water flows from the dam to Manchar lake.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018