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January 10, 2019

Mohmand Dam: Postponement of inauguration twice in a month irks guests


January 10, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The postponement of inauguration of the Mohmand Dam for the second time not only caused embarrassment to the invitees but also resulted in wastage of both money and time considerably.

Hundreds of thousands of rupees the PTI-government has spent and wasted on invitations for inauguration ceremony of much-awaited Mohmand Dam, after it postponed the event for the second time this month.

Coupled with financial wastages, the postponement has also caused embarrassment among the invitees, who had rearranged their daily schedules to attend the ceremony for both the times [Jan 2 and 13].

They say that the postponement of the event twice over the last two weeks indicates as to how much government is serious in resolving major issues particularly when it is making tall claims for water conservation and ending the power shortages in the country. “Perhaps it was also due to lack of coordination among relevant departments,” they said adding a mega project like Mohmand Dam should kick start on a good note.

A senior official of the Ministry of Water Resources when contacted, said the event was postponed due to some observations given by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar that he gave to Minister for Water Resources for not taking him [CJ] in loop and not keeping in view his busy schedule of handling important court cases while deciding the date [Jan 13] of the inauguration of the dam.

After grilling the minister, the chief justice refused to attend the ceremony, and so, the government had to postpone the ceremony on the same day [Jan 7], official said. The inauguration ceremony which had been postponed for the second time was scheduled to be held on January 13 and it was to be attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan along with Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar as chief guests.

Earlier, the ceremony was scheduled for Jan 2, and that was also postponed without telling any reason. Hundreds of invitations were sent to invitees on both occasions, spending hundreds of thousands of rupees, official said.

The News when contacted the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Additional Director General Public Relations Muhammad Abid Rana said, “Yes, the event has been postponed, but the financial cost on the publishing invitation cards were a few thousands. As, it was going to be a very simple event and was postponed days before the date of the event, so no other financial cost has been incurred.”

Now the government [PM office] has yet to finalise the new date for this event. This project is a very much important for Pakistan and especially for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as it would help mitigate risk of flooding that in the past had devastated the low lying areas and affected thousands of people and even critical installations of the country. This project’s cost is Rs309 billion, which has the capacity to generate 800MW of electricity and store waters for the agriculture and other purposes.

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