The government has revised upward the cost of Kachhi Canal project to Rs 88.179 billion from Rs 31 billion due to delay in completion of the project for various reasons including financial constraints, law and order situation, etc. Sources said senior officials of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) informed a meeting of Senate body on finance that the cost of the project has been revised upward in the PC1 to Rs 88 billion on August 8, 2012.
The work on the project was initiated in October 2001with the completion date of December 2012, but the pace of work remained sluggish due to financial constraints and other factors. Financial constraints, damage due to 2010 and 2012 floods and law and order situation in tribal areas of Punjab districts and Dera Bugti Balochistan have been cited as major reasons for the delay.
A copy of the official documents available with Business Recorder shows that up to June 30 2012, the government spent Rs 28.284 billion on the project while Rs 2.4 billion has been earmarked for the canal for current fiscal year. The year-wise releases through the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) show Rs 300 million were allocated for the project in 2002-03 and Rs 900 million in the subsequent year. The allocation was increased in the budget to Rs 1.260 billion in 2004-05 and then Rs 2.588 billion in 2005-6.
The budgetary allocation for the project was increased to Rs 6.270 billion in 2006-07 and Rs 8.5 billion in 2007-08. However, a considerable decrease was seen in the allocation for the project after the incumbent government came into power which was attributed to the financial constraints. The PSDP allocation for the project was slashed to Rs 4.4 billion in 2008-09 from Rs 8.5 billion in the previous year and Rs 1.5 billion in 2009-10 and Rs 700 million in subsequent year of 2010-11. An official of the Planning Commission said that allocation for the project in 2010-11 had been less because of flood in the province and the work could not be undertaken. The government allocated Rs 2.250 billion in fiscal year 2011-12 for the project.