The Senate’s Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms Tuesday was informed that total 42 dams had been completed under package 1 and 2 of the project of construction of 100 dams in Balochistan. Secretary Planning Shoaib Ahmed Siddqui informed the committee, which met here with under Senator Col (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi in the chair, that realizing the acute shortage of water in Balochistan, the federal government had embarked on a comprehensive programme of harnessing flood flows through construction of small dams. The project had been divided into five packages, under which the government was sponsoring construction of 100 dams in the province.
He said under the first package, 22 dams had been completed and under the second package, 22 out of 26 dams had been finalized while under the third package, work on 20 dams was in process. The secretary said the construction of small and medium dams in Balochistan would help boost agriculture production, besides mitigating acute water scarcity. Moreover, ground water would also be recharged artificially, risk of flash floods would be mitigated, and poverty would be eliminated, he added.
Briefing about road projects, the Planning Ministry officials said a project for the construction of N-40 road from Quetta to Taftan was in the pipeline and this project would soon be approved. The Planning Secretary said completion of development projects in Balochistan was on priority of the federal government, however, there were certain issues, including that of security in execution of the projects.
Senator Usman Kakar said work on all projects in Balochistan was very slow, which should be expedited. The committee decided to send notices to all departments concerned for slow execution of the projects in Balochistan. When asked about acute water scarcity in Gwadar city, the secretary told the committee that keeping in view the importance of port city under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the prime minister had issued special directives for making arrangements for provision of required water to the city on priority basis.
He said a Chinese company had recently established a water treatment plant and from January 1, 2018, it had started providing 200,000 gallons per day to the consumers. Regarding Mangi dam in Quetta, the meeting was informed that a certain amount of explosive material was required for digging out the land, however, security agencies were not allowing to move the material to the site. The meeting was attended by senators Usman Khan Kakar, Mohsin Leghari, and Karim Ahmed Khawaja.—APP