ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran on Monday hinted at supervising the Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand dams project, given the urgency.
“Met Chairman Wapda today and emphasized urgency of building the Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand dams. I may supervise dams project myself, given the urgency. 45 MAF is total water flow of Pakistan, of which 80 per cent is in three months and only 20 per cent in rest of nine months,” he said in tweets.
The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman, Lt Gen (retd) Muzammil Hussain, called on the prime minister and briefed him about the water situation in the country and future development of water and hydropower sectors.
The prime minister also tweeted Pakistan has only 185 dams and only two large ones. In contrast, India has 5,000 dams and China has 84,000 dams, including 4,000 large ones. “We need to avert the looming water crisis confronting Pakistan,” he tweeted.
The prime minister said Pakistan is sitting on hundreds of billions of rupees in what he called ‘dead capital’ in the form of state land and rest houses and official residences built on that land.
Imran took to Twitter to share figures extracted from data he had received regarding 90 percent of government-owned land in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the federal areas and buildings constructed on the estates.
According to figures cited by Prime Minister Imran Khan, 34,459 kanals of the state-owned land is located in rural areas while 17,035 kanals is in urban areas.
“I have just got figures of 90% of state-owned land in KP, Punjab & federal areas & rest houses/official residences built on this land. The figures are startling: 34,459 kanals are rural & 17,035 kanals are urban. Just the urban landwith buildings is worth over Rs.300 billion!,” he wrote.
Suggesting that this money could be used for other purposes of public interest, the prime minister wrote "a country that has to borrow money to pay interest on its loans is sitting on huge amounts of dead capital in the form of this govt-owned land with buildings."
The loans that the country has been taking are burdening its future generations and that the daily interest liability is a whopping Rs5billion. “So a country that has to borrow money to pay interest on its loans (burdening our future generations) - & daily interest payment is Rs 5 b - is sitting on huge amounts of dead capital (just 90% of urban holdings is worth Rs 300b) in the form of this govt-owned land with buildings,” he said in the tweet.
Taking ownership of Construction of five million Housing Programme, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the committee for the task to finalise its recommendations regarding formulation of a comprehensive plan of action with delineated timelines within two weeks for early roll out the programme.
The Prime Minister chaired a meeting to review progress on formulation of a roadmap for construction of five million houses across the country here at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Monday. Secretary Housing Dr Imran Jehanzain briefed the meeting about the current situation regarding annual demand and shortfall in the housing sector.
He also identified various options regarding ensuring availability of land, raising for the required finances through different modes and undertaking administrative and legal measures needed to encourage private sector and the foreign investors towards Prime Minister’s 05 Million Housing Initiative.
Prime Minister Khan said that provision of 05 million housing, equipped with all basic facilities, and regularisation of katchi abadis/slums is the foremost priority of the government being the part of PTI’s manifesto.
The Prime Minister said that construction of affordable housing initiative would not only provide shelter to the homeless but would generate huge economic activity by providing millions of jobs and boosting all linked industries of the housing sector.
The Prime Minister said that besides the availability of vast state lands across the country, utilization of prime lands of the state guest houses and other government owned accommodations/properties in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone could generate billions of rupees for five million houses. It was decided during the meeting the Prime Minister will take ownership of the initiative in order to ensure smooth implementation and removing any administrative bottlenecks.