Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms has expressed serious concern over increase of Rs 48 billion in cost of RBOD-II Mega Drainage Project from Rs 14 billion to Rs 61.99 billion due to delay, faulty design, mismanagement, and land acquisition issues.
The committee met with Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani in the chair here at Parliament House on Monday. The committee discussed RBOD-II Mega Drainage Project (extension RBOD from Sehwan to sea), Nai-Gaj dam project and report on the recommendations made by the committee.
The RBOD-II Mega Drainage Project Director, who was appointed two months ago, told the committee that the project is funded by 88.7 percent (Rs 54.99 billion) by the federal government and 11.3 percent (Rs 7 billion) by the Sindh government. He said that initial cost of the project was Rs 14 billion but due to delay of years, the cost has now reached to Rs 61.99 billion.
The project is mainly a carrier drain which will carry saline effluent of drainage units coming from RBOD-III and RBOD-I. The objective of the project is to protect Manchar Lake and River Indus from pollution.
The project director said that Sindh chief minister has constituted a committee about this project and it brought main two changes including; (i) it changed the management, (ii) and it transferred headquarter of the project from Karachi to Jamshoro.
The committee was told that the project has 73 percent physical presence and 64 percent financial progress. The committee expressed surprise at the increase in cost and time of the project and the fact that some land acquisition for the project is still pending.
The committee chairman directed the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms to write to the Ministry of Railways and Sindh government to expedite their part of the work. He also directed the Ministry of Planning to write Frontier Works Organization (FWO) to start work on the project.
The committee discussed in detail the compliance with its recommendations and directions given in earlier meetings. The committee was dissatisfied over the delay in communication with the provincial government on the investigation report of those responsible for undue delay in the Nai-Gaj dam.
The committee directed to have a fresh monitoring done on the project and seeing physical progress. Regarding formulation of a technical committee on investigation of k4, the committee was told that it is also still underway.
The committee while discussing the draft Alternative and Renewable Energy (ARE) Policy 2019 directed Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) to submit to the committee a comparative analysis as to how the new policy is different from the previous one and what new incentives are being provided.
The meeting was attended by Senators Rukhsana Zuberi, Dr Asad Ashraf, Mir Kabeer Muhammad Shahi and Shaheen Khalid Butt, additional secretary planning and officials from Wapda.