Ijaz Kakakhel Islamabad
Due to increase in dollar rupees parity, the cost of Diamer Basha Dam Projects is expected to increase from current PC-1 Rs480 billion to Rs650 —Rs700 billion which was around 30 percent of the original approved cost.
This was informed to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, which held on Monday in par-liament house while Junid Akbar was on chair.
PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal questioned that why the government initiate the project which was based on two years earlier (2018) PC-1 cost estimates.
According to rules, he said whenever a project PC-1 cost estimate delay for two years, then revised estimates were made for any project but for Basha dam, the2018 PC-1 cost was taken into considera-tion.
He apprehended that the project cost will re-vise again and again therefore, it was better to revise at the beginning. In future he said the project may delay like Neelum Jehlum project.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that the cost of the project was estimated in 2019 and not based on 2018.
However, he accepted that exchange rate definitely change the cost of any project because the local construction material prices also linked with the dollar exchange rate with rupees. He also said that meaningful reconciliation of cost should be made for Diamer Basha dam.
Representative of minister power informed the committee that the cost of the Diamer Basha dma was expected to increase by 30 percent due to in-crease value of Dollar.
Secretary ministry of Plan-ning, Development and Special Initiatives informed the committee that Diamer Basha Dam is a mega project, which envisaged a live water storage of 6.4 million acre feet (MAF) and cheaper energy of 4500 MW power generation capacity.
He said original PC-I (acquisition of land and resettlement) amount to Rs60 billion was approved by ECNEC on 6-11-2008 whereas revised PC-I of acquisition of land and resettlement amounting to Rs101.372 billion was approved by ECNEC on 2-3-2015.
Second revised PC-I amounting to Rs175.086 bi llion was approed by ECNEC in its meeting of 30-4-2020. The entire cost would be met from PSDP.
So for 32754 acres (91%) of land has been ac-quired out of total required land of 35954 acres. Rs98billion have been paid for land acquisition. The balance amount is being paid/will be as and when required.
The Secretary further informed the com-mittee that Project colony for consultants and WAPDA Staff was started in 2011. Present progress is 86%. The cost would be met from WAPDA own resources.
The committee was further informed that during current fiscal year, the government has allocated Rs16 billion against which Rs7.7 billion have been released and spent upto March 31, 2021. The con-tractor for hydro mechanical equipment and hydrau-lic steel structures is yet to be awarded.