SC satisfied over dams implementation committee's progress

SC satisfied over dams implementation committee's progress

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Tuesday expressed satisfaction over the progress achieved by the Implementation Committee of Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dams (ICBMD) so far.

A four-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Main Saqib Nisar, which met here at the Supreme Court building, observed that the top court would provide full support in implementation of the two projects, a press release said.

The CJP maintained that the nation could not afford to waste even a minute in mitigating the water shortages, therefore, timely completion of the projects was a must and everyone would have to play the due role in that regard.

Being a sacred national mission, he said, the Supreme Court stood fully committed to ensure that funds are spent solely for the construction of the dams and nothing else.

Chairman, Implementation Committee of Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dams (ICBMD) / Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Lt. Gen. (Retd) Muzammil Hussain briefed the bench about the measures initiated for ensuring early commencement of construction work on Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams.

In a detailed presentation about the committee's proceedings, the WAPDA chairman apprised the bench that legal framework and terms of reference of the committee had been drafted, besides formation of seven sub-committees to identify impediments which might hinder the projects and the ways and means to remove those hurdles effectively.

The bench was briefed that ICDBMD had succeeded in identifying the issues relating to land acquisition, project financing, procurement, security and coordination.

The ICDBMD, he said, had also aptly developed a set of recommendations to handle those issues, so that the decision of the Supreme Court dated July 4, 2018 for construction of the dams could be implemented in letter and spirit.

The bench was further informed about the timelines to accomplish the tasks leading towards early commencement of construction of the Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams. The need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders was also underlined during the briefing.

The ICDBMD / WAPDA chairman said in view of the procurement timelines determined by the Implementation Committee, the construction work on Mohmand Dam Project was expected to commence in early 2019, whereas an all-out effort was also being made to start construction of Dimaer Basha Dam during 2019 as early as possible.

Expressing his gratitude over the keen interest taken by the Supreme Court to avert looming water crisis in Pakistan, the WAPDA chairman said the water situation in the country would improve under the guidance of the apex court, as both Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams would have cumulative gross water storage capacity of 9.3 million acre feet (MAF), in addition to generating 5300 megawatt (MW) low-cost hydel electricity.

He also informed the bench that ICDBMD had achieved in four weeks what could not be achieved in a decade if the Supreme Court had not passed an order for the dams' construction.

On the recommendations of the ICDMBD regarding appointment of a monitoring Judge for Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams, the CJP observed that the bench would act as a monitoring bench for the construction of the two dams being a national cause. APP