ISLAMABAD: Declaring the Diamer-Bhasha Dam vital for the country’s economy, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday directed the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) to complete the project by 2026, ahead of its timeline of 2029.
Speaking after a briefing over the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam in Diamer, PM Shehbaz said, “Nothing in this world is impossible therefore efforts to complete Diamer Bhasha dam project by 2026 instead of 2029 should be made.”
PM Shehbaz Sharif said that the project was started by his brother and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 2016 and it was advanced by his successor Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
“There is a need to think seriously about starting a powerhouse here and to encourage international investors to invest here,” the premier said.
He said that Diamer Bhasha Dam would play a key role in improving Pakistan’s economy as well as irrigating its agricultural lands.
PM Shehbaz Sharif went on to say that he has been getting briefings on different ministries and departments since he has taken charge as the prime minister of Pakistan.
“Be it the Ministry of Finance, Power or Petroleum, the way almost four years were wasted gives goosebumps.”
The prime minister further stated that non-hydel power plants for thousands of megawatts of electricity are inactive. He said that there is neither abundant oil nor gas.
“What could be a bigger incompetence than this.”
The premier vowed to tell the nation facts in this regard and said he will cease to be a “servant” of Pakistan the day he tried to distort the facts.
‘Immediate completion of Rawal Chowk flyover’
PM Shehbaz Sharif had earlier directed for the immediate completion of Rawal Chowk flyover without compromising over its quality of work.
The prime minister accompanied by authorities concerned reached the construction site early on Saturday morning where he was given a briefing on the project.
The premier directed the completion of this project by September 1, 2022, noting that the project was almost stalled for many months. He also ordered an inquiry for the reasons behind the delay, and audit of the project by a third party.
PM Shehbaz said that public interest projects should be completed within the stipulated period of time.
“The project like this should be completed within six months […] the delay in its construction was adding to public woes.”
The prime minister expressed his dissatisfaction over the slow pace of work, saying that lethargy and complacency were the apparent reasons behind the delayed project.
He said that even mega projects in the country had been accomplished within a period of two years but why this minor project was hitting the snags.
PM Shehbaz Sharif said that it was the central chowk and the closure of work on the project had been causing public nuisance.
The prime minister also raised questions about the award of contracts, construction company’s profile, landscaping and service lines etc.
The project was initiated during 2020 and its completion period was two years.
Additional input from APP