ISLAMABAD: Removing all bottlenecks in construction of much awaited Mohmand dam, the government has decided to start work on the project in first week of January.
This was announced by Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda while addressing a press conference here on Wednesday along with Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Lt Gen (R) Muzammil Hussain.
He said the project would be completed within five years and generate 800 MW cheap hydel electricity besides irrigating over 18,000 acres of barren land and help mitigating flood in Peshawar valley.
The minister said the government was going to announce good news to the nation regarding the Mohmand dam and its construction would make a new history.
He said it was a 54 years old project which was now going to be materialized with the collective efforts of the government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) and Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
He said the prime minister, CJP and COAS would be the chief guests in the inauguration ceremony.
He said the CJP and COAS took a personal interest and help remove obstacles in the way of project.
Faisal Vawda said the nation would hear such more good news in future and those politicians would not be spared who pushed the nation into darkness.
He said the dam would be constructed through local funding and around Rs17 to 18 billion would be spent from annual Public Sector Development Programme for five years on the project.
The WAPDA chairman said, unfortunately, no mega project could be initiated after the construction of Tarbeela dam in 1967 resulting energy and water crisis in the country.
He said Mohmand dam would not only store 1.2 million acre feet water but also generate 800 MW hydel electricity besides irrigating 18000 acres land. The project would also help protect Mardan, Charsadda, Peshawar and other areas from floods during monsoon season, he said.
He said the Indus Cascade had potential of generating over 30,000 to 40,000 MW hydel electricity.
Replying to a question, he said WAPDA had completed mega projects like Mangla and Tarbeela dams, 15 small dams including Khanpur and five barrages in the past.
Neelum Jhelum project was completed during the stipulated time while all three units of Tarbeela 4th extension projects were fully functional, he added.
He said Golan Gol and Kachhi Canal projects which had been abandoned in past were being executed by WAPDA.
The chairman said the prime minister and the steering committee had resolved the funding while the chief minister helped land acquisition issue of the project.
To another question, he said phase-1 of the Dasu dam would be completed by 2022 to 23.
Regarding Kishanganga and other disputed projects by India, Water Resources Secretary Shamail Ahmad Khawaja said the attorney general office was reviewing the report of the World Bank.
GERMANY, CHINA SHOW INTEREST IN INVESTMENT:
Meanwhile, German Ambassador in Pakistan Martin Kobler and representatives of Chinese Embassy Wednesday called on Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda and showed keen interest in investing in hydropower project of Mohmand dam.
They expressed their desire to invest in the hydropower projects, a press statement said.
The minister thanked the visiting ambassador and representatives of Chinese Embassy and assured full support to them.