Khan for use of local material & expertise in constructing dams

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that construction of dams and ensuring water security will help meet energy and agriculture requirements of the country at affordable rate.
The Prime Minister said on Monday this while chairing a briefing on national water security strategy and construction of dams to meet agricultural as well as energy requirements of the country.
The Prime Minister said Diamer Bhasha Dam, after completion, will boost construction and provide a huge stimulus to national economy. He directed that use of local material and expertise should be accorded priority during the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam, which will provide huge job opportunities to local people.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over progress made so far and directed to immediately start construction activities of the dam.
Earlier, the Prime Minister was briefed in detail about the progress of resolution of all pending issues pertaining to construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam.
The meeting was informed that Diamer-Bhasha project has remained stuck for decades due to various reasons but now it is ready for commencement of physical work. The Diamer Bhasha dam will create 16,500 jobs and utilise huge quantity of cement and steel, which will give a boost to the local industry. It will also produce 4,500 megawatt of cheap electricity to meet the country’s energy requirements.
The meeting was informed that 1.23 million acres of land will be brought under agriculture due to this dam. It will also be a major source of flood mitigation and prevent damages worth billions of rupees caused by floods each year. The government would spend Rs78.5 billion on the development of the area around the dam.
The Prime Minister was informed that funds have been arranged for Noulong Dam in district Jhal Magsi of Balochistan and that work on the project would commence next year. He was also apprised of progress on the Sindh Barrage project.
The Prime Minister emphasised on starting the Sindh Barrage as a priority project. “Sindh Barrage has huge benefits of addressing agriculture needs of the province, it will stop erosion of soil from seawater and improve drinking water situation for urban centers of Sindh,” he said.
The Prime Minister appreciated the efforts of the Water Resources Ministry and Wapda for “pursuing projects passionately to realise our dream of self-reliance in food security, industry and exports”. He also reiterated his emphasis on keeping a close watch on quality of work and meeting the timelines.
The chairman WAPDA briefed the meeting about progress of ongoing construction of Mohmand Dam that started recently.
The Prime Minister was also apprised of the progress on resolution of pending issued related to Dasu Dam project.
The Prime Minister appreciated the efforts of Ministry of Water Resources and WAPDA for pursuing projects passionately to realize dream of self-reliance in food security, industry and exports.
The meeting was attended by Water Resources Minister Faisal Wada, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Shibli Faraz, Kashmir & Gilgit-Baltistan Minister Ali Amin Gandapur, Special Assistant on Information Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Bajwa, Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Muzammil Hussain and senior officers.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan held a meeting with his economic team on Monday and discussed matters pertaining to current financial situation in the country.
Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umer, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, Adviser to PM on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, PM’s Special Assistant on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and senior officials attended the meeting.
The prevailing economic situation in the country was discussed in the meeting. The economic impact in the wake of lockdown due to coronavirus also came under discussion.
Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting on COVID-19 here on Monday that discussed matters relating to the current situation of pandemic in the country.
Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umer, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar, Federal Minister for Industries Production Hammad Azhar and Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz attended the meeting. Adviser to PM on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, PM’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, PM’s Special Assistant on Information Asim Saleem Bajwa, PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza and senior officials were also present.
The meeting also discussed the financial impacts of lockdown in the wake of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan Usman Dar called on PM and presented the first performance report of Tiger Force after its mobilization.
Usman Dar also briefed the Prime Minister on the cooperation of the provincial governments and statistics saying that the registered youth were fulfilling their responsibilities with hard work and dedication.
He said that the Tiger Force also assisted in the registration of the unemployed at union council level. The reports received from the provinces are satisfactory and encouraging, he said.
Special Assistant Usman Dar also presented the report of non-cooperation by the Sindh government to the PM saying that there are 154,000 youth registered in the province but the provincial government is not cooperating.
According to sources, the Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the report on Tiger Force and directed the Special Assistant to continue coordination at the provincial level.
The Prime Minister also said that the process of phase-wise mobilization of youth across the country should be continued. Moreover, an important decision regarding youth registered in Sindh is expected in a day or two. – TLTP, NNI

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