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Over 32,000 Acre land acquired for Diamer Bhasha Dam project: NA informed
January 14, 2019

Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda says government is continuously striving for development of water reservoirs in the country.

Replying to a question during Question Hour in the National Assembly this evening, he said informed the House that 32,139 acres of land has been acquired for Diamer Bhasha Dam which is 86% of the total land to be acquired.

Minister for Water Resources said 31,977 acres has been acquired in Gilgit Baltistan and 162 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said the government through its executing agency WAPDA has completed Mangla Dam Raising, Gomal Zam Dam, Satpara Dam and Darawat Dam to store water with a total storage capacity of 3.91 Million Acre Feet. He said Diamer Bhasha Dam, Mohmand Dam, Kurram Tangi Dam and Nai Gaj Dam are at implementation stage.

Minister for Religious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qadri responding to a question said madaris have a crucial role in construction, development and moral values of our society.He said Pakistan Madrasah Board could not become functional because Wafaqs and Tanzeemat did not nominate their representatives on the board and refused to adopt the government initiative.

Responding to another question, he said two thousand riyals as fee has been imposed by Saudi government on pilgrims who offer Umra for the second or multiple times. This fee has been levied on repeat Umra performers of all nationalities.

Taking the floor, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif criticized the consideration of a single bid by PTI government of Mohmand Dam project.

He said the decision reflects conflict of interest, where the other parties were not given equal opportunities.

Shahbaz Sharif said when the government of PML-N started its tenure in 2013, the country was in the grip of darkness due to long hours of load-shedding. The then government while starting and awarding projects, thoroughly followed Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules.

Shahbaz Sharif demanded to take the issue at the floor of the assembly and refer it to the House Committee.

Responding to allegations by Leader of the Opposition in the House on Mohmand Dam bidding process, Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda said all conspiracies against the construction of dam will be foiled.

He said no dam was built in the country for the last 60 years, leading to pressure on existing water resources.

The Minister said if something is advertised openly, it cannot be categorized as single bidding. He said 28 companies bought the bidding documents, out of which five took part in the bidding process. He said in November 2017, the tenders for the project were called and documents were submitted in June last year. He said at that time there was not government of PTI. Faisal Vawda said PTI government and its functionaries had no role in whole process. He said his government has already taken a discount of six billion rupees on the construction costs from the bidder.

Faisal Vawda said PTI government under Prime Minister Imran Khan is going to resolve all the issues which will lead to political demise of the opposition.

The House passed a bill to repeal the West Pakistan Prohibition of Smoking in Cinema Houses Ordinance, 1960 to the extent of Islamabad Capital Territory.

Speaking in the Lower House of the Parliament, Co-Chairperson Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Ali Zardari said his party will continue working for strengthening of democracy and supremacy of the parliament. He said the members of parliament have a key role to strengthen this august institution. Asif Zardari suggested that if there is a case against any parliamentarian, it should be taken first at the level of National Assembly and then moved to the relevant investigation agency. Co-Chairperson PPP said that instead of parliamentarians appearing before National Accountability Bureau, the Chairman NAB should come before Parliament and brief on things.

The House passed a resolution with consensus condemning in strongest words the murder of MNA Syed Ali Raza Abidi in Karachi.

The resolution while expressing condolence with the bereaved family impressed upon the Federal and Sindh governments to arrest the killers and give them exemplary punishment. It also urged the government to make sure that lives and properties of people are protected.

The resolution was moved by Syed Amin ul Haque of MQM Pakistan.

Earlier, the House offered fateha for departed soul of MNA Ali Raza Abidi, martyred FC personnel in Balochistan and others.

Minister for Religious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qadri led fateha.

The House Business Advisory Committee of the National Assembly met at Parliament house in Islamabad today with Speaker Asad Qaiser in the chair.

Representatives of the parliamentary parties gave their proposals regarding business in the House. It was decided that the current session of the lower house will continue till 25th of this month.