'Mohmand dam to be completed in 6 years'

40% local engineers to be employed, WAPDA chief Muzammil Hussain tells Senate body

Our Correspondent February 12, 2019
Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Muzammil Hussain on Monday informed the Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources that the Mohmand Dam would be completed in five years and eight months.

The Wapda chief said the proposed time could be reduced with the use of modern technology. "Unfortunately, the project has been halted for past 50 years and nine cases were registered against the government of Pakistan for constructing the dam,” he said, adding all of these cases have finally been decided with verdicts in favour of the government.

The dam will have the gross capacity of 1.9 million acre-feet (MAF) and live capacity of 0.67 MAF with power generation potential of 800 megawatts (MW) and the annual energy production of 2862 GWh, Hussain told the lawmakers.

The dam will have the command area of 16,737 acres, the chairman Wapda added. Referring to propaganda against the dam in the media, he said it was falsely reported Wapda issued tender of the project through a single bidding process. “Wapda clearly went for open competitive bidding,” he affirmed.

During the presentation, it was also revealed the bidding process was held from November 23, 2017 to June 26, 2018. Almost 23 firms purchased bidding documents, 15 attended a pre-bid meeting, 10 firms visited the dam site and only two joint ventures submitted bids for the project.

"The tribespeople of the Mohmand Agency deserve great applause and appreciation for their cooperation and enthusiasm for the dam. They asked the officials to start work at the project as soon as possible and even proposed they do not want compensation for their lands," the Wapda chief.

He also informed the committee that 40% of the engineers, working on the dam would be the locals. “The foreign engineers will help in capacity building of our skilled youth -- fresh engineers and graduates of local universities -- and assist in fortifying indigenous technical manpower," he remarked.

Other Wapda officials also briefed the committee. They said that Chiniot dam was proposed at an ideal location on Chenab River for flood mitigation. "The main objective of the dam is to cope with inundation occurring at the upstream areas," one official said.

The Wapda officials informed that three alternative sites were under consideration as its concept paper has been approved. They added that the process would be expedited to get the project initiated without any further delay.

On the PSDP releases for Noulong dam, Ichar dam and Machura dam, they said that the allocated and released funds were not enough for the timely development of the projects which should be assisted by the Planning Commission.


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