Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Construction of Mohmand and Diamer-Bhasha dams to start next year


LAHORE: (DNA) –  The construction of two major dams — Mohmand and Diamer-Bhasha — will begin in first two quarters of the next year, the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) informed the government.

Newly appointed Federal Minister for Water Resources, Faisal Vawda, was given detailed briefing by Wapda Chairman Muzammil Hussain about building of the dams during a meeting.

The total approved cost of both the dams is around Rs883 billion. An official told the meeting that the authorities had invited consultancy firms to submit proposals for the Rs478bn Diamer-Bhasha dam.

The meeting was informed that the fund created by the chief justice of Pakistan, which was later joined by the prime minister, had registered a total donation of Rs4.6 billion so far. While, Rs23.8bn for the Diamer-Bhasha dam and Rs2bn for the Mohmand dam had been allocated in the Public Sector Development Programme 2018-19.

During the briefing, Vawda said the government was committed to constructing water and hydropower projects in order to improve water availability for domestic, industrial and agricultural sectors.

Highlighting the need for developing water and hydropower resources for economic and social uplift of the country, he said that low-cost hydel electricity would be added into national grid.

Chairman Wapda highlighted various factors behind the looming water crisis in Pakistan and underlined the need to make concerted efforts towards addressing the issue of water shortage in the country.

He emphasised the fact that construction of new dams and adopting efficient water management means was the way forward.

Giving a rundown of the measures taken by WAPDA in view of the Supreme Court’s decision for early commencement and timely completion of Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dams, the Federal Minister was apprised that procurement of consultancy services and main works was on fast track and the construction of both dams would commence in 2019.

In addition to the recently completed WAPDA projects, the Federal Minister was also informed about the ongoing water and hydropower projects to include Dasu and Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project, Kurram Tangi Dam, Nai Gaj Dam etc. A review of the ready for construction projects including Kachhi Canal Phase-II and III, Kurram Tangi Dam, Tarbela 5th Extension, Harpo and Bunji Hydropower projects was also presented.

The Minister expressed satisfaction over the performance of WAPDA and emphasized on the need to keep working with the same dedication for timely completion of ongoing projects for the benefit of the people.

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