Lawmakers, on Tuesday, discussed the construction of Mohmand Dam and were informed that work would start next week and be completed before the flood season of 2024.This announcement was made during a meeting of the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Water Resources in parliament house, which was presided over by Nawab Muhammad Yousuf Talpur. Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman, Lt Gen (R) Muzammil Hussain, also spoke on the occasion and said that the contractor had started mobilising machinery to the dam site. He further added that as per PC-1, the project was supposed to cost Rs 309 billion, however, nearly Rs 18 billion had been reduced through negotiations with the contractor. He remarked that if WAPDA was allowed, Naulong dam in Balochistan could also be built with the said amount.He made note of the delay in the project for the last 40 years while asserting that the dam would help store 1.2 million acre-feet of water and generate 800 megawatts (MW) of hydel electricity. The committee was also told that the local community had already transferred 844 acres of land for the project. The government would provide 37 per cent fund for the project while remaining fund would be arranged by the Authority, he maintained. The chairman noted that the project would help mitigate the risk of floods in Peshawar, Charsadda and Mardan. He said that WAPDA had added 2487 MW of hydel electricity to the national grid station since September 2017.The projects said to be completed during the last two years included 969 MW Neelum Jhelum, Tarbela 4th Extension, Golan Gol and Kacchi Canal Projects while the recently completed hydel projects would generate Rs 86 billion. If allowed, water, power body could build Naulong dam for less costLt Gen Hussain also clarified that Neelum Jhelum Project had been completed at a cost of Rs 464 billion instead of Rs 503 billion while remarking that this cost had jumped due to redesigning. He pointed towards the 26 months taken to accord PC-1 approval for any project and said that it needed to be expedited. The chairman also sought the help of the committee in filling vacant posts of WAPDA.Briefing the NA panel, Additional Secretary for Water Resources, Syed Mehar Ali Shah, said that the government had already approved National Water Policy 2018 and Pakistan Water Charter. He lamented that no mega dam and barrage had been built since 1960 while adding that targets had been fixed to store additional 10 MAF water till 2030, he added. He said there was dire need to fix at least 20 per cent of total PSDP for water projects till 2030, which at present stood at a mere 9.6 per cent. He maintained that the telemetry system was being installed at seven sites to ensure a better distribution of water among the provinces. The committee was also briefed about the function of Indus River System Authority and the availability of water in the federal capitalThe committee recommended a timely provision of required funds to various water projects and immediate appointment of WAPDA members. The meeting was attended by members of NA, Muhammad Farooq Azam, Fazal Muhammad Khan, Noureen Farooq Khan, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Munir Khan Orakzai, Riaz ul Haq, Saad Waseem, Ch Muhammad Hamid Hameed, IRSA chairman, Federal Flood Commission chairman and other senior officials.Published in Daily Times, March 20th 2019.