Construction work on Diamer-Bhasha dam to start by year end , Senate told
Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Thursday said approximately 10,000 to 11000 MWs electricity is expected to be added in the system, up to June 2018.
In a written reply in the upper house of the parliament, the minister said that due to completion of several mega electricity projects and addition of 11,000 MWs electricity in the system, load shedding is likely to end in June 2018.
He said that the average daily demand of electricity in the country at present is 12,376 MW. Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf in a written reply said that at present there are 742 Hajj operators are registered with the Ministry.
He said that these operators are registered with the Department of Tourism Services (DTS), being regulatory authorities of respective provinces and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). However, Ministry of Religious Affairs attests the contract or agreement made between Pakistan tour operators and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Umrah Services provider on yearly basis on the request of Kingdom Saudi Arabia.
Consequently, the ministry has attested 539 agreements during the year, 2015-16 whereas 219 contracts have been attested till date during year 2016-17. He said that Hajj quota is allocated to Hajj tour operators in line with the procedure and criteria as prescribed in Hajj policy of the concerned year.
He said that procedure and criteria for allocation of Hajj quota for Hajj 2017 will be finalized in the light of Hajj Policy, 2017; which is yet to be approved. With regard to Umrah, the ministry does not grant any quota of Umrah to Umrah operators, he added.
Minister of State for Water and Power, Abid Sher Ali on Thursday informed the Senate that the construction work on Diamer-Bhasha dam will be started by the end of this year, 2017. Replying to a question in the upper house of the parliament, the minister said that planning work has been completed and sufficient amount has already been used on initial work of the project.
In a written reply, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that the updation of PC-I was in process and according to the financing strategy, dam and pre-requisites will be implemented through PSDP grants plus WAPDA arranged financing, whereas power generation facilities will be implemented through local and foreign loans plus WAPDA arranged financing.
He said that construction of infra-structure or preliminary work on Diamer Bhasha Dam Project like project colony at Thore Valley, composite model village-II at Harpan Das are in progress. He said that most of the land required for the project has already been acquired through PSDP funds.
He said that recently, financing strategy for Implementation of Diamer Bhasha Dam Project has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Energy on November 30, 2016. In the light of financing strategy, WAPDA has been directed to update PC-Is (one for dam part and the other for power generation).
He said that as per Article 157 (2) (c) and (d) of the Constitution of Pakistan, the provinces may construct power houses and grid stations and lay transmission lines for use within the province and determine tariff for distribution of electricity within the province.
He said that in order to encourage the provinces to generate electricity by their own, the government of Pakistan (GoP) had announced “Power Generation Policy 2015,in April 2015, which offered various initiatives to allow provinces, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan to develop their own power projects.
He said that the Power Policy 2015 also allows provinces, AJK and GB entities to issue Letter of Interest (LOI) and letter of Support (LOS), prepare pre-qualification and bid documents, pre-qualify the sponsors, evaluate the bids/proposals, and award the projects.