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July 21, 2018

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Wapda seeks foreign financing: Dams fund receives Rs260mln so far

ISLAMABAD: The Implementation Committee of Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dams (ICDBMD) has expressed satisfaction on the encouraging response from the public, as so far Rs260 million have been donated for this national cause.

The ICDBMD held its second meeting on Friday as its secretariat, with Wapda Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (retd) in chair.

Talking to media after the meeting, Wapda chairman said the country faced difficult situation regarding water and all measures were being taken to start work on water reservoirs. Initiatives were also being taken to implement water policy and structure had been presented to the chief justice of Pakistan, he added.

The chairman further said an amount of $1.5 to $2 billion was required from external financers, and they were in touch with Swiss and some other foreign banks to arrange this fund.

“International financers had refused to finance the Diamer-Basha project after 12 years,” he said, and added that refunding and disputes among different tribes were major issues in the delay of the Diamer-Basha dam.

Appreciating the role of the public, Wapda chairman said people had played a key role in the completion of the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower project, from which 736 megawatt was being added to the nation grid.

Hussain said the subcommittee on finances would give recommendation whether to impose surcharge or not on the consumers to raise funds for these dams. Land for Diamer-Basha dam belonged to Pakistan and therefore this area of land was not disputed.

“The committee is committed to accomplish the task assigned to it by the honourable Supreme Court for early commencement and timely completion of Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dam Projects,” he said, adding the committee was weighing various options for the purpose.

Wapda chairman expressed satisfaction over the prompt response of the sub-committees constituted during the first meeting of the ICDBMD on July 12, for identifying the issues and coming up with solutions.

Different sub-committees presented their reports in the meeting.

Land acquisition and resettlement sub-committee briefed about the current status on land acquisition and resettlement of both Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dams, the impediments in the way to do so, and ways and means to complete the required within defined timelines.

Procurement and implementation sub-committee presented their analyses regarding procurement strategies and processes, proposed measures for their timely completion by identifying the issues and defining the redressal mechanism within timelines.

The Sub-Committee

for projects’ financing informed the meeting about the measures required to achieve financial close of both dams in time, identified gaps in arranging the requisite financing, and suggested timelines to ensure financial close with earliest possible dates.

Security sub-committee discussed measures needed for timely completion of the projects, while the coordination sub-committee proposed mechanism to provide legal advice, logistic support and ancillary services to the implementation committee.

The implementation committee thoroughly reviewed the presentations and made recommendations the sub-committees for finalising their report.

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