Islamabad: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved several changes to the land-acquisition cost for the Dasu hydropower project – with the latest estimates set at PKR 37 billion, a news source reported. The information was shared with the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Water Resources.
Earlier, Upper Kohistan Deputy Commissioner (DC) Hamidur Rehman had revealed that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government had approved new prices for acquiring land and houses to construct the Dasu hydropower project.
Nawab Muhammad Yousaf Talpur chaired a meeting of the NA’s standing committee. The meeting took notice of the hurdles impeding the land-acquisition process, reviewed the implementation status of the committee’s earlier recommendations and discussed water distribution and shortage issues in the provinces.
Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA) member Zahid Khan Durrani told the NA panel that the authority would provide the additional funds of PKR 18 billion for the project from its own equity. He added that a senior member of KP's Board of Revenue (BoR) had previously stated that the district administration would complete the land-acquisition process for priority areas within six months of the ECNEC’s approval of the cost revisions. These priority areas span over 1,247 acres.
Meanwhile, Water Resources Secretary Muhammad Ashraf informed the panel that the Council of Common Interest (CCI) had already given its approval to the water policy implementation in April 2018.
Under this policy, Ashraf added, the government would enhance the country’s water storage capacity to an additional 10 million acre feet (MAF) by 2030, whereas the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams following their construction completion will store 7.1 MAF of water. The small dams in all provinces will store the remaining amount.
The officials concerned also informed the meeting that the planning commission had received the revised PC-1 for Naulong Dam’s construction for approval.