Altaf Hamid Rao,
MIRPUR (AJK): October 21: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar visited Mirpur AJK – based Mangla Dam on Sunday – the largest water reservoir in Pakistan.
He was accompanied by other honourbale Judges of the apex court, and a delegation comprising foreign and local water experts, who attended the International Symposium “ Creating Water-Secure Pakistan”.
Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (Retd) and other senior officers welcomed them at Mangla Dam, it was officially said Sunday evening.
During their visit, the delegation was briefed that Mangla Dam has been phenomenally contributing towards economic development and social uplift of Pakistan for the last 51 years by providing water for irrigated agriculture, mitigating floods and generating low-cost hydel electricity. Since its commissioning in 1967, Mangla Dam made more than 251 million acre feet (MAF) of storage releases for irrigation purpose and contributed about 233 billion units of electricity to the National Grid, our correspondent Altaf Hamid Rao reports from Mirpur quoting WAPDA sources Sunday evening.
The delegates were apprised that Mangla Dam, the first-ever multi-purpose mega project in Pakistan, was completed in 1967 with live water storage capacity of 5.88 MAF, which reduced to 4.6 MAF till 2004 due to natural phenomenon of sedimentation. Subsequently, Mangla Dam Raising Project was initiated in 2004 with a view to maximizing the water potential of River Jhelum. The project was substantially completed in December 2009, increasing the water storage capacity of Mangla Reservoir to 7.4 MAF from 4.6 MAF with an addition of 2.88 MAF. Resultantly, Mangla Dam surpassed the water storage capacity of Tarbela Dam and became the largest water reservoir in the country.
WAPDA Chairman briefed that the consultants of Mangla Dam in their design of the project way back in 1960, had envisaged the life of the Mangla reservoir from 100 to 115 years. However effective watershed techniques adopted by WAPDA and completion of Mangla Dam Raising Project have increased the life of Mangla reservoir to 269 years. Mangla reservoir produces about 500 metric ton of fish every year. WAPDA handed over fishing rights in the reservoir to Azad Jammu and Kashmir government since 2003 as one of the confidence building measures, the delegates were further informed.
Giving an account of Mangla Hydel power Station, the delegation was briefed that installation of the first four generating units, having generation capacity of 100 megawatt (MW) each, was completed in 1967. Unit No. 5 and 6 were installed in 1974, while Unit No 7 and 8 in 1981. Mangla Hydel Power Station attained its maximum generation capacity of 1000 MW in 1994 with addition of Unit No 9 and 10. In view of the aging factor of the generating equipment and availability of additional water due to the raised Mangla Dam, WAPDA is executing Mangla Refurbishment Project. On completion of the project in a phased manner, the generation capacity of Mangla Hydel Power Station will increase to 1310 MW.