SC tells govt to ensure payment of dams’ dues to Wapda

Updated February 13, 2020

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the secretary of power to ensure payment of dues to Wapda in a year by adhering to the payment schedule for construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams. — AFP/File
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the secretary of power to ensure payment of dues to Wapda in a year by adhering to the payment schedule for construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the secretary of power to ensure payment of dues to Wapda in a year by adhering to the payment schedule for construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams.

“Is it not your duty that the money be paid to Wapda?” Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed inquired from Power Secretary Irfan Ali and dictated an order that the latter would strictly comply with orders of the Supreme Court and would not obstruct in a matter that may delay payments.

The chief justice was heading a five-judge implementation bench of the Supreme Court which had taken up the Diamer-Bhasha - Mohmand Dams Funds case.

Wapda Chairman Muzzamil Hussain told the Supreme Court that the authority still had to get the promised money of Rs35 billion and Rs17bn, respectively, for Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams.

The chairman also informed the court that the revised PC-1 of the resettlement plan to rehabilitate the people displaced by the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam was pending approval at the ECNEC.

Additional Attorney General Khurram Saeed, however, assured the court that the revised PC-1 would be taken up by ECNEC as early as possible, preferably in two weeks.

The court, however, asked Wapda to furnish a breakdown of Rs1.8bn required to provide security at the Mohmand Dam site. Details must include both the capital cost as well as the recurring cost.

Executive Director of State Bank of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Malik informed the court that instructions had been passed on to all branches of commercial banks as well as the Pakistani missions to ensure transmission of the collection of funds for the dam. He said that over the last two weeks Rs25.5 million had been collected for the dam funds.

At the hearing on Dec 12, 2019, the Supreme Court was told that the funds collected through the dam funds had been invested in three months Government of Pakistan Treasury Bills and up to Dec 11, 2019, the amount so generated was Rs11bn on which a profit of Rs692m was earned to make the total funds at Rs12bn. The case will now be taken up after a month.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2020