–KP, WAPDA officials, Shahid Afridi to also contribute for Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam fund
ISLAMABAD: Executives and officers of The Bank of Punjab on Tuesday decided to contribute Rs10 million for the fund for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.
In a statement issued here, they said that the nation had a track record of generously contributing towards welfare projects and this fundraising movement should also get the desired momentum to help generate required funds at a very fast pace.
“It is high time to work as a nation and overcome this menace of water scarcity through a national resolve to leave behind a better and prosperous country for our future generations,” they said.
Earlier in the day, officers of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government and Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) also announced to contribute their salaries to the fund.
As per the details, officers of the KP government and WAPDA will donate their three and two-day salaries, respectively, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision for construction of the two vital projects, while WAPDA officials from BPS 1 to 16 will contribute their one-day salary.
It is worth mentioning that more than 17,500 employees, including both senior officers and junior employees, are working for WAPDA across the country.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi also pledged Rs1.5 million to the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam fund.
Taking to Twitter, Afridi posted that he would be committing Rs500,000 from his side and Rs1 million from the Shahid Afridi Foundation towards the construction of the dams.
The former cricketer also lauded Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar’s efforts for setting up the fund and promised to do his part for the country.
During a hearing last week, the Supreme Court (SC) had observed that water resources were crucial for survival and directed the authorities to take immediate and effective measures to build two dams — Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand.
Furthermore, the apex court had appealed to the general public, including Pakistanis residing abroad, to donate for the cause.
Following the top judge’s directives, the Finance Division had opened a bank account under title Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dams Fund 2018 bearing account no 03-593-299999-001-4 and IBN no PK06SBPP0035932999990014 for raising funds for the construction of above-mentioned dams in the country.
The CJP was the first to donate for the dam, depositing Rs1 million into the account.
Later, Punjab’s caretaker Chief Minister Hasan Askari wrote a cheque of Rs0.5million for the fund. “The construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam is extremely important for Pakistan,” he said, adding that the nation should actively participate in raising funds for the construction of the dam.
The payments into the aforesaid funds were to be received at all branches of the State Bank of Pakistan, all treasuries and branches of National Bank of Pakistan and all other scheduled banks.
In the latest development, the SC on Monday took notice of banks failing to open accounts for the deposit of funds earmarked for the construction of dams in the country.
The hearing was conducted by a bench of the apex court, headed by CJP Nisar. An application forwarded by the Ministry of Finance prayed upon the apex court to expedite the work for the opening of relevant accounts.
Justice Nisar maintained that State Bank’s procrastination was a source of anguish for everyone. “It took three days for the bank to open an account,” he added. “SBP has been unnecessarily making us wait while the people are clueless with money in their hands. We must ask the upcoming chief justices to take care of the issue. Those who are making donations for the construction of dams must be praised.”
Justice Ijazul Hasan maintained State Bank was creating bottlenecks for the general public. “An impression is being made that people don’t want to deposit funds in the account set by the SC,” Justice Hasan said, at which the CJP said that a man had just committed to donating whatever it takes for the construction.
The CJP said that the court would not allow anyone to steal or make a commission from the funds. “We do not want to see any corruption,” he warned, adding the court would remain vigilant during the course of audit.
Furthermore, a secretariat has been established at Islamabad for the Implementation Committee of Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dams (ICDBMD).
WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen (r) Muzammil Hussain will serve as the chairman of ICDBMD whereas Ministry of Water Resources Joint Secretary Syed Mehar Ali Shah has been appointed as ICDBMD secretary.
The first meeting of ICDBMD has been convened at its secretariat on July 12.
ARMY TO DONATE SALARIES FOR DAMS
Meanwhile, Director General (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said officers of the Pakistan armed forces will contribute to the fund announced for the construction of the Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dam.
“Pakistan’s armed forces are contributing to Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dam fund. Officers of Pak Army, Navy and Air Force will contribute their two days’ pay while soldiers will donate a day’s pay to the announced fund for this national cause,” tweeted Major General Asif Ghafoor.
Similarly, Acting President Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani has donated Rs1.5 million in funds established for construction of Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dams.
Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani said on Monday that establishing of the fund by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) was a commendable step and we all needed to play role in this connection. He said that looming water crisis in Pakistan is a national issue and announcing water emergency in the country has become vital.
While announcing Rs1.5 million for Bhasha and Mohmand dams, the acting president also urged overseas Pakistanis for donating generously for the projects of larger national interest.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Caretaker Chief Minister Alaudin Marri has welcomed CJP’s decision for construction of Bhasha and Mohmand dams to improve water reservoirs in the country and said that construction of dams to meet the demand of water in the country is inevitable.
In this regard, the decision of the construction of dams is historic and we consider it a national duty, adding that people of Balochistan should raise funds for this cause.