ISLAMABAD: Chief Executive of Bahria Town Malik Riaz on Thursday expressed his willingness to construct the Daducha Dam with the condition that there will be no interference from bureaucracy of the Punjab government. He said international consultants could be hired for the construction of the project and he will pay the fees.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umer Ata Bandyal and Justice Ijazul Ahsen, heard a suo moto case regarding non-compliance with the apex court order on construction of Daducha and Papeen Dams to overcome the problem of water shortage in Rawalpindi.
The court the other day while hearing a case regarding farmhouses in the federal capital had asked Barrister Aitizaz Ahsan, counsel of one of the owners of farmhouses, as to which dam was not yet built in Rawalpindi despite the court verdict. Aitizaz Ahsan replied that it was the Daducha Dam.
The court then had sought a report from the government of Punjab till August 2. On Thursday, Aitizaz Ahsan appeared before the court along with Malik Riaz, the petitioner in the instant matter. The court asked Aitizaz Ahsen to give a short background on the matter to which he replied that in 2001, the dam was proposed by the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) and the SDO in the village of Daducha. However, work on the project could not be launched.
He informed that the government of Punjab had allocated a land for the construction of the dam; however, the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Bahria Town purchased some of the land where the dam was to be built and launched a housing scheme as a joint venture with Bahria Town.
To a question Mlaik Riaz said that 20 percent land of the dam site belong to Bahria Town. Aitizaz Ahsen submitted that they had demarcated the site for the construction of the said dam other than Site 1 which the government had allocated for the purpose. On August 4, 2015, the Supreme Court took up the matter and gave verdict against Bahria Town, directing the Punjab government to construct the dam at the originally proposed site. Soon after the apex court directives, the government froze the sale and purchase of land in the area.
Aitizaz Ahsen informed the court that their review petition is also still pending before the court and requested that a larger bench should be constituted to hear their case.
He further said that they want that land should be acquired to them for the purpose of construction of the said dam adding that they will ensure completion of the dam within a year.
Chief Justice asked Aitizaz to submit this proposal of constructing dam in writing and later dictating its order noted that without prejudice of the review petition of the petitioner the court has considered the proposal of Malik Riaz and issued notice to respondent Punjab government for not complying with the court order order of constructing the desired dam on site No 1.
The court issued notice to Punjab government to submit its reply in three weeks and directed that Advocate General and Chief Secretary Punjab should come up with full preparation on the next date of hearing.
Referring to Peeply dam, the court asked Aitizaz Ahsen that he should also give his proposal for this dam to which the learned counsel replied that two dams cannot be constructed at a time. Let Dadocha dam be completed and then they will look into the other as well, he said.
Malik Riaz told the court that they are ready to constrict the Dadocha dam but they should be given assurance that the bureaucracy of Punjab will have no role in the project. He further said that even they will also pay the fees to international company which will monitor the project as well but they should not be put on the mercy of bureaucracy.
At this, the chief justice asked Malik Riaz to use good words for bureaucracy as whatever he is now is due to this bureaucracy. “Not bureaucracy but Allah has given me successes,” Malik Riaz replied.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice also sought report on Peeply dam adding that more dams are inevitable in order to overcome shortage of drinking water and adjourned further hearing for three weeks.
Later on, Gohar Ali Khan, assistant of Barrisatr Aitizaz Ahsen, told The News that they have submitted proposal in writing before the court, stating that the construction of Dadocha dam will be completed within one year.