LAHORE: Work on Kurram Tangi Dam, a multi-purpose project in North Waziristan Agency, is set to kick off in the next two months, with the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) needing swift handover of land and effective security arrangements.
Briefing Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kausar, Wapda Chairman Syed Raghib Shah revealed that the project had been divided into three components for effective implementation.
Construction work on the first component will be initiated in March this year. In this phase, a weir, two canals covering an area of more than 16,000 acres, two power houses of about 19 megawatts and a 132-kilovolt transmission line will be constructed. Annual benefits of the first component have been estimated at about Rs1.7 billion.
Shah asked the governor to help in early handover of land to Wapda and ensure effective security arrangements.
He said the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had expressed interest in providing funds for the first component. An environment assessment study is also underway to pave the way for the financing.
In the second component, the main dam and three power houses will be constructed and in the third component an irrigation system will be developed.
Shah pointed out that Wapda could initiate work on all the three components simultaneously, subject to availability of funds. He called for constituting a steering committee comprising representatives of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the Fata Development Authority, Wapda and other stakeholders to speed up the project.
With an aim of sustained socio-economic development in backward areas, the project will provide water for agriculture, generate low-cost hydroelectric power and create employment for local residents.
The project, with gross water storage capacity of 1.2 million acre feet and power generation capacity of 83 megawatts, will irrigate more than 362,000 acres of land and provide 350 million units of low-cost electricity.
In addition to these, about 12,600 and 480 employment opportunities will be created during construction and operation of the project respectively. Overall benefits have been estimated at about Rs9 billion per annum.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2013.
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