Alarming decline of 5.7 million acre feet water in reservoirs: Wapda chairman

Diamir Bhasha Dam to be completed in 2028, Mohmand in 2023 with construction n beginning next year

ISLAMABAD
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Lt Gen (R) Muzammil Hussain Thursday said construction work on both Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams would be started in mid of next year and it would require nine and five years respectively for their completion.
Talking to media persons after a maiden meeting of implementation Committee of Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams (ICDBMD), the chairman said it was an unprecedented step of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) and such strategy would be devised to complete both the projects in time.
He said the committee had 34 members including chief secretaries of four provinces, senior officials of the ministry, former WAPDA chairmen, technical and financial experts.
He said classical mechanism was adopted during the period of 1958-1976 for construction of dams and hydropower projects and mega projects like Mangla, Tarbela dams, five barrages and seven linked canals were completed in due course of time.
However, the chairman said later mechanism was slowed down resulting delay of 10-15 years in projects completion.
He said earlier Planning Commission was involved in the construction of mega projects.
Muzammil said water situation was critical in the country as hardly around one million acre feet (MAF) water was available in the reservoirs as compared to 6.7 MAF last year.
The chairman said WAPDA completed four mega projects in last one and half years including Neelum Jhelum hydropower, Tarbela 4th Extension, Golan Gol and Kacchi Canal despite numerous hardship.
Replying to a question, the Chairman said both the projects would be financed from its own resources and dam portion of Diamer Basha would cost around Rs.476 billion. Around $ 1.5 to $ 2 billion foreign funding would be required for both the projects, he said.
Regarding provision of security, he said the local administration of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan were fully sensitized about it.

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