The successive governments of PML-N and PTI failed to find a fiscal space of Rs. 96 billion for the ‘Flood Protection Project,’ which could have reduced the ferocity of the recent devastating flood.
This was revealed at the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) meeting on Thursday (yesterday).
According to the documents presented at the CDWP meeting, the project, which was designed in 2015, was intended for the development of flood protection infrastructure, such as the erection of protection walls, the installation of early warning systems, weather radars, automatic weather stations, telemetry stations, glacier monitoring systems, the upgrade of the Water and Power Development Authority’s (WAPDA) gauging system, and so on.
According to the documents, the Federal Flood Commission (FFC) and the Ministry of Water Resources prepared the Flood Protection Sector Project (FPSP)-III, which falls under the purview of the National Flood Protection Plan-IV (NFPP-IV). Following the 2010 flood, FFC developed NFPP-IV and hired a consultant (M/s NESPAK) in May 2013 to prepare NFPP-IV for the next ten years.
The final version of the plan was presented by the consultant in May 2015, and it was approved by the Council of Common Interests (CCI) in 2017. However, due to a lack of funds, implementation has been stalled since then.
During the meeting, Ministry of Water Resources officials informed CDWP that the project would be included in the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for fiscal year 2024.
The officials also stated that the federal government will fund the project. The government will contribute Rs. 29.2 billion, while the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will contribute Rs. 67 billion.
It is worth noting that the losses caused by disastrous floods in Pakistan have led the National Flood Response and Coordination Center (NFRCC) to estimate that the country could lose more than $40 billion as a result of floods.