French agency considering assistance for Munda Dam

Published: February 21, 2012

The dam will store 1.29 million acre feet of water and generate 740 megawatts of hydropower annually. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: A French development agency is exploring ways and means to join the Munda multipurpose dam project and become a partner of the people of Pakistan in their way to progress and prosperity.

Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) Country Director Nicolas Fomage said this during a visit to the dam site, located five kilometres upstream of Munda headworks in Mohmand Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Senior officials of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and political agent of Mohmand Agency were also present.

AFD is interested in providing financial assistance for design as well as construction of the project and the case is being forwarded to its board of directors for approval.

“The Munda Dam project will go a long way for socio-economic development of the country, particularly of Mohmand Agency and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,” said Fomage, who was heading a three-member delegation.

Besides getting a briefing on the project, the delegation also exchanged views with local tribesmen.

Wapda is giving priority to Munda Dam in the wake of 2010 floods that played havoc in the country. In a significant development, a Rs611.5 million consultancy agreement for preparing a detailed engineering design and tender documents of the project was signed with a joint venture of reputed firms last week.

After completion of the engineering design in two years, the project will enter the construction phase.

Munda Dam is a multipurpose project that will help control floods, ensure availability of water for agriculture and provide low-cost hydroelectric power. The dam will store 1.29 million acre feet of water and generate 740 megawatts of hydropower, contributing 2,400 million units of low-cost electricity to the national grid annually.

Most importantly, the project will protect Charsadda and Nowshera from floods. The dam will store 300 million cubic metres of flood water from Swat River, restricting accumulation of its peak flows with that of Kabul River. Annual benefits of the project have been calculated at Rs20.2 billion.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2012.

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