Islamabad, August 11 (TNS): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that new Ministry of Water resources has been constituted to resolve more issues that have been faced because the water security was neglected in the past due to much focus on power.
The Prime Minister chaired meeting on WAPDA Affairs at PM Office on Friday, says a statement issued by the PM House.
The present government has taken lead to initiate mega water projects. Water is the backbone of our economy, we must make Ministry of Water Resources productive and renew our efforts in this regard, the Prime Minister stated.
Chairman WAPDA Lt. General (Retd.) Muzammil Hussain gave an overview of WAPDA and briefed the Prime Minister on the ongoing water and power projects conceived as well as executed under the present government with high class expertise, and future projects with focus on water resource management. It was informed that all the strategic projects conceived by the present government are on targets in terms of timelines.
The meeting was further informed that among the ongoing projects, Kacchi Canal is ready for inauguration during the current month. The canal will irrigate 72000 Acres of land in Dera Bugti.
The project was delayed in terms of time and cost during the last fifteen years. The present government took the lead and removed all the bottlenecks to complete the project.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the project and said that the entire demography of Dera Bugti and other regions of Balochistan will change for good once the virgin lands are irrigated. Chairman WAPDA also briefed the meeting on 969 MWs Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project and informed that the first unit of NJHPP will be commissioned on schedule in February 2018, second unit will be commissioned in March, 2018 and the third & 4th units will be ready for inauguration in April 2018. Regarding 1410 MW Tarbela IV Extension, the Chairman informed that its first unit will be ready for generation by February 2018, second Unit by April, 2018 and the third unit by May, 2018.
The meeting was also briefed on the projects in the pipelines including Dasu Hydropower project and Diamer Basha Dam Project in terms of preliminary works. The Prime Minister directed to control cost escalation in the projects without compromising on quality of work.
The Prime Minister further directed to ensure continuous monitoring of these projects given their national significance, and desired to place these projects in the agenda of the next CCI meeting to evolve consensus among all the stakeholders. Our focus on Diamer Basha must be renewed and all the bottlenecks must be removed, the prime Minister said.
“We must take decision; not taking decisions is not an option anymore”, the Prime Minister stressed. The Prime Minister also directed for frequent review meetings on water resource management and said that all the stakeholders will be taken onboard.
Secretary Water and other senior government officials were also present during the meeting.