ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources decided on Monday to file a motion of breach of privilege against the Balochistan chief secretary for remaining absent from successive meetings of the panel to discuss delay in compensation for the people affected by Mirani Dam.
During a meeting, the provincial finance secretary told the senators that the chief secretary had been occupied in extensive work due to budget preparation. The committee, however, noted that the chief secretary should at least have communicated the reasons of his absence.
The meeting was chaired by Senator Shamim Afridi at the Parliament House. It was attended by members, Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Mir Kabeer Muhammad Shahi, Syed Sabir Shah, Ahmed Khan, Sana Jamali, Gianchand, Agha Shahzeb Khan Durrani, Usma Khan Kakar.
Water Resources Secretary, Member Water of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), Balochistan’s finance secretary and planning and development secretary and deputy commissioner of the Turbat district also attended the meeting.
The mover of the discussion, Senator Mir Kabeer Muhammad Shahi said that the federal government had supported the payment of compensations and the delay on part of the Balochistan government needed to be sorted out.
He suggested that a comparative on-ground survey of the prices of the produce, land, construction etc should be conducted so as to determine the correct amount of compensation to be paid to the affected people. He also proposed appointment of a third party to ensure transparency in the whole process.
The Balochistan finance secretary told the committee that the issue was not about money but the streamlining of the process to determine the actual affected people. At present, he said, there are two or three lists mentioning different people as the affected.
The committee noted that more than four years had passed since the federal government transferred fund to the provincial government but the money remained in the provincial government’s accounts.
The area affected by the Mirani Dam comprises three union councils, 6 villages. The committee stressed that the money could not be given until it is mentioned in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and the Annual Development Programme (ADP).
the fund is specifically allocated for payment to the affected people, the committee noted, and the Balochistan planning and development department to reconstitute the third party verification panel and report back to the committee.
Senator Syed Sabir Shah raised the matters related to Gadwalian Dam. Speaking on the issue, Senator Shah pointed out that despite heavy rains last season, the dam could not be filled because of its design fault.
However, director general of the small dams in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa told the meeting that there was no design fault. He said that the dam could not be filled because of low-intensity rains the dam couldn’t be filled. The mover and the committee, however, were not satisfied with the reply.
The committee members decided to visit the dam site. The mover said that the department should ponder over the mistakes they have made and allocate money for its correction.