Small dams being developed in addition to big projects: Ahsan

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THE NATION, ISLAMABAD, 10th SEPTEMBER 2013:- A high-level meeting to review small dam projects in Balochistan and Katchi Canal project was held in Planning Commission under the chairmanship of Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms.
Chief Secretary Balochistan, Chairman WAPDA, Additional Secretary W&P, Engineer in Chief Pakistan Army and Provincial Irrigation Secretaries of Punjab and Sindh participated.
Purpose of the meeting was to review the progress of work on Katchi Canal and also to review water development projects of the country especially of Balochistan.
Minister shared that Government assigns a very high priority to development of Balochistan and the main focus was water development in Balochistan. Minister directed that no lapses can be tolerated in water development projects and that there will be a policy of zero tolerance on wastage of resources. Minister stated that food security is essential for human security and that in an arid country like Pakistan, it is essential to create water reservoirs. Therefore, Government assigns top most priority to construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam. Small dams are being developed in addition to big projects.
Completion of Katchi Canal project will irrigate 7,13,000 Acres of land. In Phase-I, 1,02,000 acers in Dera Bugti will be irrigated. Minister took serious notice of mismanagement and delay of last 8 years in Katchi Canal Project. He said, “Project completion must be expedited and monthly progress review will be held”. Minister said that he himself will monitor the progress of work and no delay will be tolerated at any cost.
Minister said, “Dams serve dual purpose by providing water for irrigation and also electricity. Water is essential for the survival of our nation and hence those projects must be our priority which provides water storage as well as electric generation. There are many ways of producing electricity but there is no substitute of water reservoir. Diamir Bhasha Dam will serve as a lifeline for Pakistan’s food security. Any delay in construction of Diamir Bhasha Dam will be a criminal offence against our future.
A bigger than energy water crisis in next ten years is looming, which will shake the very fabric of agricultural economy if we didn’t build Bhasha Dam immediately.

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