ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued directives for forming a parliamentary committee to investigate the alleged irregularities in the purchase of land for the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam project.
Presiding over the 14th meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Sharif said that acquisition of land for the 4,500MW hydel project should be done by July 31.
In parliamentary traditions, the prime minister, as the leader of the house, can only ask the speaker of National Assembly to constitute a parliamentary committee, but he himself could not issue directives for it.
But, as per the press statement issued after the meeting, the word ordered has been attributed to the prime minister.
The statement said that the meeting which lasted more than three hours heard a presentation by the secretary for water and power on load management and recoveries.
According to the sources, federal government was not happy with the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government over its role in clearing the area for the Diamer-Bhasha project. In this regard the federal government has already written to the KP government.
He said by forming the parliamentary committee on the project the federal government wanted to take all parliamentary parties on board.
Chairman WAPDA, Zafar Mahmood briefed the meeting on matters related to Diamer-Bhasha project.
The prime minister asked the chairman to present the complete project proposal with timelines in the next meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy. The prime minister called for tangible steps to control power theft and speed up recovery.
He directed the ministries concerned to look into the possibility of increased supply of gas to Guddu power plant so that more than 700MW of electricity was added by October.
The federal Minister for Petroleum, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, briefed the meeting on progress on the LNG-based power plants. He said LNG would cost even less than furnace oil.
The prime minister gave approval for converting power plants running on diesel and furnace oil to LNG. The meeting was informed about installation of subsidized tube-wells in Balochistan.
Water & Power Secretary Mohammad Younus Dagha briefed the meeting on access to solar power in rural areas of Balochistan.