ISLAMABAD  -   The CDWP Thursday once again deferred the approval of Nai Gaj Dam project worth Rs 47,732.5 and instructed the Ministry of Water Resources to resolve designs issues and other observations regarding the project.

The CDWP, which met with Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar in chair, recommended to ECNEC the 2nd revision of Emergency Plan for Polio Eradication worth $986.3 million.

Officials sources privy to the meeting told The Nation that serious issues were observed with the Nai Gaj Dam Project which includes its design, reluctance of government of Sindh to share the cost, and the underestimated cost of the project. It was estimated that the cost of the project will be Rs 47.73 billion but according the experts the cost will increase to Rs 70 to 75 billion said the source. Official of the Sindh government was not ready to share the cost of the project.

The CDWP considered Nai Gaj Dam Project 2nd revision worth Rs. 47,732.5 million that was also placed before the CDWP. Minister Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar observed that since the project of Nai Gaj Dam would overcome water shortages, irrigating an area of 28000 acres in Sindh province, hence it needed to be dealt jointly by the federal as well as Sindh government. Considering importance of the project, its completion should be expedited without any further delay, remarked Minister PD&R. He instructed that Ministry of Water Resources should resolve designs issues and other observations.

Secretary Water Resources on the occasion sought a time of two weeks to resolve the issues. However, Minister Planning desired that ministry should come up with a response in a week time.

The CDWP recommended 2nd revision of Emergency Plan for Polio Eradication worth $986.3 million. The forum was informed that polio will be eradicated from Pakistan by the end of 2019; however two years would be required for follow up and complete eradication of its core reservoirs. Two international organizations of United Nation including UNICEF and WHO are operating with delivery of polio vaccination, supplementing immunization and interruption of wild polio virus in the country.

Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar observed that polio eradication is a national priority and it needs a holistic action plan to ensure zero polio cases in Pakistan as per national and global commitments.

The project was provisionally recommended to ECNEC for approval.

CDWP also considered two position papers relating to transport & communication and housing & work division. CDWP returned two projects of transport & communication sector and one project of housing & works due to non-compliance of earlier decisions.

CDWP also accorded time extension to three projects without any cost or scope revision, including New Minerals Survey Scheme Phase-VI worth Rs 1085.3 million, Nutrition Programme for Sindh with estimated cost of Rs. 4117.9 and E-Office Replication at all Divisions of the Federal Government Projects at Islamabad worth Rs. 440.3 million.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, members of Planning Commission and officials from federal and provincial governments.