Construction of dams to begin in 2019

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar was informed that work on their construction would start after his retirement. The CJP`s retirement is due in January 2019.

Retired lieutenant general Muzammil Hussain, chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority(Wapda), was briefing a four-member bench of the Supreme Court on the work of the Implementation Committee of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams (ICBMD) that he heads.

Giving a detailed presentation about the ICBMD`s proceedings, the Wapda chairman apprised the bench that legal framework and terms of reference of the committee had already been drafted. Besides, he said, seven sub-committees had been set up to identify impediments as well as the ways and means to remove those hurdles effectively.

The bench, which was headed by the CJP and also comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar, was informed that the ICBMD had succeeded in identifying issues related to land acquisition, project financing, procurement, security and coordination. The com-mittee had also developed a set of recommendations to handle those issues so that the July 4 decision of the apex court for the construction of the dams could be implemented in letter and spirit.

The bench was also briefed about a timeline set by the ICBMD to accomplish the tasks leading towards early commencement of work on the construction of Diamer-Basha and Mohmand dams. At the briefing, the Wapda chairman highlighted the need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders.

The bench was informed that in view of the procurement, the time frame determined by the ICBMD, work on the construction of Mohmand dam project was expected to commence in the early 2019, whereas all-out efforts were being made to start the construction of Diamer-Basha dam project next year.