NA standing committee recommends against initiating new water, energy projects till ongoing ones not completed

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ISLAMABAD: National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Water Resources recommended on Thursday that the Ministry of Water Resources should not initiate new projects before it has completed those already in progress to ensure proper utilization of funds.

The standing committee met at the committee room of Federal Flood Commission under MNA Khalid Hussain Magsi’s chairmanship to discuss the performance of the Ministry of Water Resources and its attached departments.

The committee acknowledged the viability of Neelum–Jhelum Hydropower Plant and of the extension of Tarbela dam, pushing for an early completion of the two projects so as to meet the electricity requirement of Pakistan.

The committee observed that unnecessary delays in the completion of ongoing projects escalated their costs, causing huge losses to government money.

It also expressed concern that the mandate of a few departments like National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) had been reallocated to the Ministry of Energy while it was mainly linked with the Ministry of Water Resources.

Earlier, Water Resources Federal Minister Syed Javed Ali Shah and top officials of WAPDA briefly apprised the committee about their efforts of completing the ongoing projects within given time frame and the problems they were facing.

MNAs Chaudhry Muhammad Tufail, Lt Col (Retd) Ghulam Rasul Sahi, Pir Aslam Bodla, Rao Muhammad Ajmal, Mr Abdul Sattar Bachani, Nawab Muhammad Yousuf Talpur, Salim Rehman, Syed Waseem Hussain, Moulana Gohar Shah and Mr Abdul Qahar Khan Wadan were also present at the meeting, besides officials of the ministry.