ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday directed the authorities concerned to immediately start construction of dams in the country.
“It will also boost construction and related industries and provide a huge stimulus to our economy,” the prime minister said while presiding over a meeting.
Ensuring water security is the foremost priority of the government, he said.
“Besides optimum utilisation of available water resources for agricultural needs, construction of dams would help meet energy requirements at an affordable rate,” he added.
He said the use of local material and expertise be accorded priority during the construction work which would provide job opportunities to people.
Says it will boost construction and related industries, provide a huge stimulus to economy
The meeting was attended by Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur, SAPM on information retired Lt Gen Asim Bajwa, Wapda Chairman retired Lt-Gen Muzammil Hussain and senior officers.
The prime minister was briefed about the progress of resolution of all pending issues related to construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam. The meeting was apprised that all issues related to the project, including settlement, detailed roadmap for mobilisation of financial resources, had been resolved and work at the site was ready for commencement.
The dam project had remained stuck for decades due to various reasons.
The construction of the dam will create 16,500 jobs and utilise huge quantity of cement and steel which will give boost to the industry besides resolving water storage and producing 4500 megawatt affordable electricity.
The 6.4 million acre feet (MAF) water capacity of the dam will reduce the current water shortage in the country from 12 MAF to 6.1 MAF.
It will also add 35 years to the life of Tarbela Dam by reducing sedimentation.
It will also bring 1.23 million acres under agriculture.
The meeting was informed that Rs78.5 billion would be spent on social development of the area around Diamer Bhasha Dam.
The Wapda chairman briefed the meeting about progress of on the construction of Mohmand Dam that had been started recently.
The prime minister expressed satisfaction over the speed of work.
He also apprised of the progress on resolution of pending issues related to Dasu Dam project.
He expressed satisfaction over the progress made so far and directed to ensure expeditious commencement of work on the Dasu project.
The meeting was informed that funds had been arranged for Noulong Dam in Jhal Magsi district of Balochistan and the work would commence next year.
The prime minister emphasised launching of work on Sindh Barrage as a priority project. Sindh Barrage has huge benefits of addressing agriculture needs of the province and will stop erosion of soil from seawater besides improving drinking water supply to the urban centres of Sindh.
He appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Water Resources and Wapda for pursuing projects to ensure self-reliance in food security, industry and exports.
Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2020