KARACHI: In support of the Supreme Court’s ‘Ao Dam Banayein’ initiative, ARY Digital Network aired a star-studded live telethon for construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams on Saturday.
Live telecast of the program was watched by viewers across the country and abroad on all the channels of ARY Digital Network.
Celebrities, news anchors and other different artists and dignitaries including Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, actor and host Faisal Qureshi, Lollywood superstar Humayun Saeed, host Iqrar-ul-Hassan, actor Behroze Sabzwari, actor Shahood Alvi, news anchor Maria Memon and Bureau Chief ARY News Lahore Arif Hameed Bhatti graced the occasion with their presence.
Pakistan is facing acute water scarcity despite being blessed with several rivers. Building dams would greatly help overcome this issue across the country.
Viewing water scarcity in the country, the government has established ‘Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund’ in pursuit of the instructions of the top court.
The ARY Digital Network live telethon in this regard was hosted by Maria Memon and Faisal Qureshi.
Participants of the TV program stressed on need for construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.
Sharing a research, Maria Memon said if construction of the dams kicked off today, it would take 14 years to complete them, which was later refuted by the chief justice.
He said once construction got started, the dam would be constructed in about nine and a half years. He said one group of companies, who has requested anonymity, intended to give one billion rupees in this regard.
Saqib Nisar appreciated ARY Digital Network for the telethon and announced himself Rs0.1 million for the dams.
Scriptwriter, television host and satirist Anwar Maqsood announced to donate Rs0.1 million.
Bureau Chief ARY News Lahore Arif Bhatti requested people to donate as much as possible.
“Do donate for this great cause even if you have to sell your personal belongings,” he said.
Faisal Qureshi shared figures of dams across the world. He said about 46,000 dams were so far constructed worldwide. “China has 22, 000 dams, while India has 4, 500 dams.”
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Faisal Javed said Prime Minister Imran Khan would step forward and himself collect funds for the dams.
“When Pakistan came into being, its per capita water availability was 5000 cubic meter which has reduced to 1000 cubic meter now,” he said talking about alarming situation of water in Pakistan.
He said government had full support for this cause.
Faisal Qureshi’s six-year-old daughter Ayat sent about Rs13, 000 of her collection for the dams.
The government is receiving encouraging response on the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams fundraising campaign as a good sum of Rs 1.72 billion has been collected for the purpose until August 31, according to the State Bank of Pakistan website.
The fund shall receive donations and contributions from both domestic and international donors, individuals and companies, and the general public has been requested to contribute generously.
The fund has been established to overcome shortage of water and power in the country.
Earlier, the armed forces also announced to contribute for the purpose, as officers contributed their two-day pay while soldiers contributed one-day salary.
The donors can make online donations to the Fund through internet banking, automatic teller machines (ATM) and other alternate delivery channels (ADC) using IBAN of their respective bank. The banks have sent the IBANs of the Fund account to their clients through SMS alerts, while the bank-wise list of IBANs is also available at the SBP’s web page.
The general public can also make donations in cash at over 400,000 branchless banking agents of commercial and micro-finance banks across the country against proper receipt in electronic or paper form duly confirmed by the SMS alert.
The donations can also be made through credit / debit cards from anywhere in the world by clicking the “Online collections for Supreme Court Diamer Bhasha & Mohamand Dams Fund” on the SBP’s web page.
The overseas Pakistanis having PKR accounts in Pakistan can also make donations in the Fund through the internet banking facility of their respective banks.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced that banks will not charge any kind of fee on donations for construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.