Judiciary to protect basic rights of people: Chief Justice Saqib Nisar

LAHORE, Dec 28 (APP):The Supreme Court on Friday sought progress report regarding approval process of Nai Gaj Dam in Dadu district of Sindh, till January 7. The apex court also sought list of water projects under consideration by the Ministry of Planning and Development.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar passed the orders while hearing a petition highlighting hurdles in
the way of Nai Gaj dam’s construction at Supreme Court Lahore Registry. At the outset of the proceedings, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtiar and Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Wada appeared before the bench in response to being summoned. In response to a court query, Khusro Bakhtiar submitted
that water projects were top priority of the government. He submitted that Rs 12 billion had been spent on Nai Gaj dam
till now whereas the plan for the project changed many times. He further submitted that other water projects were also under consideration.
At this, the court directed the Minister for providing lists of the said projects.
However, the Minister apprised the bench that he had not received the PC-I of the Nai Gaj dam yet. In response to a
court query. Khusro assured the court that Finance Minister would be briefed about the court directions.
Faisal Wada submitted that the PC-I of the Nai Gaj dam had been received and it would be forwarded for further
approval by Monday after review.
Subsequently, the bench adjourned the matter till January 7 and sought a progress report regarding approval process of the Nai Gaj dam.
The bench had summoned the Ministers for expediting the approval process for Nai Gaj Dam after a WAPDA official
informed that PC-I of the project had been prepared and it would be reviewed by Ministry of Water and Power as well as Ministry of Planning and Development before its final approval by the ECNIC, headed by finance minister, on last hearing.
The petitioner had sought a directive for allocation of sufficient funds to complete Nai Gaj dam’s construction as early as possible.
Nai Gaj area remains dry for eight months and gets water in four months during monsoon season. After Manchar lake
attains its peak level and no more remains in a position to receive water in monsoon season, water flows from Nai Gaj
often devastate flood-protection bunds and inundate agricultural lands. After inundating agricultural lands and devastating houses and standing crops, the monsoon water falls into the sea and, as such, a huge amount of water is wasted, the petition says.
Apart from serving as continuous flow of fresh water to Manchar lake, which will improve the ecology of the lake, the
Nai Gaj dam will also serve as a lifeline for the people of this mountainous region in Dadu district with the potential of
changing their socio-economic conditions.
For improving the situation, Wapda has proposed 50 cusecs of continued piped water supply to the lake from the dam.