LAHORE: France has expressed interest in assisting Pakistan in water, irrigation and electricity projects, which will help overcome the energy crisis.
The interest was shown by French Ambassador Philippe Thiebaud during a visit to the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) House here on Wednesday.
He was accompanied by French Development Agency (AFD) Country Director Nicolas Fomage and Project Manager Nauman Bhutta.
They were briefed on the current status of Munda Dam and Jabban, Harpo and Basho hydropower projects.
After the briefing, Thiebaud said France was keen to support Pakistan in water development, irrigation and electricity generation projects. He said France was speeding up the process to provide funds for Munda Dam, which would be completed as early as possible.
Currently, AFD is providing €25million for rehabilitating and upgrading Jabban hydropower project in Malakand. In addition to this, AFD has expressed keen interest in giving funds for Munda Dam and the case for financial assistance is being forwarded to the agency’s board of directors for formal approval.
Referring to the Munda Dam multipurpose project to be constructed in Fata, Wapda Chairman Shakil Durrani said the project would help control floods, ensure water supply for agriculture and provide 740 megawatts of low-cost electricity. “Munda Dam, being a multipurpose project, will offer excellent rate of return,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2012.