State Minister for Water and Electricity Abid Sher Ali has said that had Kala Bagh Dam been made, the country would not have had to face the menace of power load shedding.
Speaking on the floor of the House during question hour, he said that Rs25 billion have been released for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam.
He said the process of land acquisition is about to be completed and the government wants to complete this project from its own resources. However, some donor agencies have also expressed their interest to finance this project, he said.
The minister said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would perform the ground breaking of Diamer-Bhasha and Dasu dams in November this year. He assured that no controversial dam would be constructed without evolving consensus.
Ali said the government is giving top priority to the construction of dams to produce cheap electricity.
“The first phase of Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Power Project will be completed by the end of next year, which will add 253 MW of electricity to the national grid,” Abid said, adding that the government also plans to construct Munda Dam, an 800 MW project, which will also help irrigate the barren land. The government has allocated Rs 600 million for this project in the current financial year, he said.
“The government is trying to produce cheap electricity in the country,” said Ali, adding that electricity bills are being monitored and 30 million energy savers have been distributed in the whole country.
Ali said that to prevent the theft of electricity, an act has been sent for legislation.
He said the Power Ministry has asked the WAPDA employees to provide the details of their property and “if needed we will hand over their corruption cases to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)”.
“We are still giving a subsidy of Rs 220 million,” he said, adding that 311,996 electricity thieves have been caught in Punjab and an action has been taken against 8,978 electricity thieves.