Dearth of funds slows down work on Nai Gaj dam

Published: August 16, 2017
Reservoir banks. PHOTO: REUTERS

Reservoir banks. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Lt Gen (R) Muzammil Hussain on Tuesday visited Nai Gaj and Darawat dams located in Dadu and Jamshoro districts of Sindh respectively.

Located on the Gaj River near Dadu, the Nai Gaj dam has planned storage capacity of 300,000 acre feet of water with command area of 28,800 acres.

During a briefing after the visit, the chairman said Wapda was committed to optimal development of water resources in Pakistan in view of a rapid surge in water requirements in the country.

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“Under a two-pronged strategy, Wapda is striving hard not only to initiate construction work on mega water projects such as Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams in the shortest possible time, but also to expedite the pace of work on ongoing medium-sized projects including the Nai Gaj dam,” he said.

Hussain said a rapid growth in population and decrease in capacity of the existing water reservoirs had turned Pakistan into a water-stressed country and it was fast heading towards becoming a water-starved country if remedial measures were not taken.

“Hence, Pakistan needs to initiate construction work on one mega dam every decade in addition to constructing small and medium-sized dams,” he emphasised.

The Wapda chairman and the project management team also discussed the strategies for expediting the pace of work on the Nai Gaj dam.

He was informed that construction work on the site was lagging behind schedule because of insufficient fund allocation in the face of several obstacles. The management team estimated that the project could be completed in two years if timely funding was ensured.

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Hussain also called for completing work on the Darawat dam and transferring its operational duties to the Sindh government. Heavy rains in the current and previous years had a good impact, which would help fill the dam.

Darawat dam has been constructed on the Baran River, 70 kilometres west of Hyderabad, with gross water storage capacity of more than 121,000 acre feet and command area of 25,000 acres.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2017.

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