06 - 12 , 2001
RBOD canal extension project okayed
The Rs14 billion Right Bank Outfall Drainage (RBOD) canal
extension project was approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP)
on Wednesday, it is learnt.
The canal extension work was likely to be inaugurated by
President Pervez Musharraf after August 14, as part of his plan to boost the
economy by launching big construction projects, an official said. A tentative
date, August 20, had been suggested by the chief executive's secretariat to the
Sindh government for the inauguration, the official said.
The project, he said, would be implemented by the engineers
of Corps -5, with the assistance of irrigation department, Sindh. Three other
projects, Greater Thal canal, Mirani dam and Gomal Zam dam, in Punjab,
Balochistan and NWFP respectively, would also be inaugurated by the president,
At a meeting on RBOD last year, the president had directed
the Sindh government to carry out a study with the assistance of army engineers
of Corps-5 for extending the drain from Sehwan up to the sea instead of
discharging of RBOD effluent into the River Indus.
The Sindh irrigation department and army engineers, at a
total cost of Rs 500,000, had completed the study, according to which the drain
could be taken from Sehwan to the Gharo creek, the official added. He said that
the study was carried out about four aspects of the project, including land
acquisition, gravity flow and discharge head issues.
Engineers of the Sindh irrigation department and Five Crop
estimated the total cost of the project at around Rs 14 billion. However,
according to estimates of WAPDA and private consultants, Rs 80 billion was
required to complete the project. The decision to involve army engineers in the
project had been taken by the chief executive as there had been serious dispute
between WAPDA and the Sindh government, the official said.
Tarbela Dam's storage capacity decreases
Inability on the part of the Tarbela Dam's management to
maintain the minimum operating level at 1,369 feet due to greater irrigation
requirements during the Kharif season has decreased the life storage capacity of
the dam, official sources told.
The sources said the pressing irrigation requirements down
the stream necessitated to bring down the level to 1,369 feet twice in April
last, which was against the recommendation of consultants.
The consultant firms, TAMS and HR Wailling Fort, in one of
their three main recommendations under a study back in 1998, had suggested that
minimum operating level (MOL) of the Tarbela reservoir should be raised by four
feet every year to cope with the silt problem. It was recommended that MOL
should be maintained at four feet higher than the preceding year.
Mangla dam height approved
President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Monday approved the
controversial Mangla Dam project under which the dam's height would be raised by
40 feet at a cost of Rs53 billion.
"The project has been approved in principle. However, a
formal announcement to this effect will be made later," a highly-placed
source told. The approval was accorded at a meeting presided over by Gen
Musharraf and attended among others by Water and Power Secretary Mirza Hamid
Hassan, Wapda chairman Lt-Gen Zulfiqar Ali Khan, and Information Secretary Anwar
The participants agreed that a formal announcement about the
launch of the project should not be made without allaying the reservations of
the people and government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Mill demand revived
The cotton market on Thursday showed signs of revival of mill
demand as needy among them seems to have broken the ice after a series of blank
trading sessions. More than 5,000 bales changed hands as reports of higher
consumption figures by most of the leading spinners to cover rising textile
exports worried those spinners whose stock positions were not that ideal.
Saindak Metals dissolved
The Saindak Metals Limited ( SML) has been dissolved at a
formal meeting of the board of directors held in Islamabad recently, sources
The SML no more exists and all its assets will go under the
direct control of the ministry of petroleum and natural resources. The assets
included costly vehicles, luxury cars, office equipment, air conditioners,
furniture and other assets. The dissolution of SML will give a free-hand to
bureaucracy over the vast assets and the resources of SML.
Road projects approved
The federal government on Saturday approved two mega road
projects for Karachi to facilitate the flow of cargo to and from Karachi port
and also provide easy and uninterrupted flow of commuter traffic within
metropolitan city, official sources said.
The remodelled and redesigned Karachi Northern bypass and the
Lyari expressway will be built at a total estimated cost of Rs6 billion down
from the original estimated cost of Rs13 billion and both will be completed
within 36 months. The go ahead to these two important highway projects of
long-term importance was given at a special presentation by the National Highway
Authority reviewed by the President Pervez Musharraf.
Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Khair Mohammad
Junejo has urged farmers to grow profitable crops to compete in the
Talking to APP on Saturday the minister said fruits,
vegetables and flowers have good potential in international market. Pakistan's
soil and climate have bright prospects for mass production of these crops which
can earn valuable foreign exchange for the country with ultimate benefit to the