Lt-Gen (r) Muzamil Hussain, Chairman Wapda exposed the fact that every year almost of Rs25 billion worth of water is lost in Pakistan in a meeting with Public Accounts Committee Pakistan. He briefed the meeting that merely 14m acre feet of water is conserved out total 145 million-acre feet that country gets in a year.
The chairman also added that storage capacity of Tarbela Dam has cut down to 36% due to a gathering of soil at its base. The necessity for constructing Diamer-Bhasha is more than thought. Over the period of 70 years, only two new dams have been constructed in the country he lamented.
Wapda hired a Chinese consultant to discuss desiltation of Tarbela Dam and comes out that both technically or economically it’s a bad option and can damage the largest dam of the country. Therefore, concluded that better option is to build a new dam having same capacity and size.
Hussain also revealed that all of Wapda projects had experienced a total of Rs300b in debt. Annually, Rs40bn repaid which consists of loans of Rs5 billion, while Rs35 billion is annual interest payments. When the project cost is added the annual payments come to about Rs57bn and separate from the total debt cost last year paid about separate from the total debt cost, the chairman told the committee.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was told that circular debt had reached to Rs321 billion owing to increase in production of electricity in the tenure of the current government.
Syed Khursheed Shah chairman of the committee looked at the debt regarding electricity production in the current government’s tenure while reviewing the objections on Wapda for 2015-16 and 2016-17. Total 37% of lines lost and top loses were in Sindh, including Hyderabad and Sukkur, were at the top of line losses throughout the country.
“PAC is a big forum but you didn’t give value to it,” said PAC chairman while expressing displeasure to the chairman Wapda for not attending the meeting second day. He replied that all of my ministry staff along with documents have attended the meeting and I was unable to attend due to a busy schedule.
“The government is already in crisis so it’s better not to open another Pandora box for them,” he argued over the demand of ‘technical briefing’ on the construction of Kalabagh Dam from Wapda officials.
The other projects like Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project will be operational by March 31, 2018, said the Wapda chairman. Sharing the technicalities excavation of 68-kilometer tunnels was completed one month before its schedule of completion.
The Wapda chairman said that Rs57 billion had been spent on Kicchi Canal project and for completion of its first phase more Rs45 billion required. He added that canal of Dera Bugti land expected to start irrigating 72,000 acres by the December.
MNAs Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Rana Muhammad Afzal, Muhammad Junaid Anwar Chaudhary, Mian Abdul Manan, Arshad Khan Laghari, Sheikh Rohail Asghar, Shahida Akhtar Ali, Azra Fazal, Khalid Maqbool, Naveed Qamar, Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, Sardar Ashiq Hussain Gopan and others attended the meeting.