Altaf Hamid Rao,
MIRPUR (AJK): Emphasizing the need for construction of dams, Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (Retd) has said that as many as 20 million acre barren land can be brought under plough if the water is made available by developing water storages in the country.
“With construction of water sector projects, we can strengthen our agriculture to attain food security and cope with the fast growing needs of water in domestic and industrial sectors besides injecting sizeable low-cost hydel electricity into the National Grid to stabilize the national economy”, he added.
The WAPDA chief expressed these views while speaking to a delegation of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), that visited WAPDA House on Thursday to exchange views on construction of dams and hydropower projects. LCCI former President Sohail Lashari headed the delegation.
Dilating upon the factors behind dismal scenario of water and hydropower sectors in the country, WAPDA Chairman said that the situation can be improved by putting a robust development mechanism in place and exercising prompt decision making. All stakeholders including the Chambers of Commerce and Industries have to play their due role to implement the National Water Policy for water, food and energy security of the country.
The delegation was briefed about WAPDA projects in water and hydropower sectors. It was informed that WAPDA plans to add two MAF to water storage capacity and 828 megawatt (MW) hydropower generation capacity up to 2025 in short term, another eight MAF water storage and 5653 MW power generation up to 2030 in medium term and 28 MAF water storage and 6245 MW generation capacity up to 2050 in long term with completion of its various projects. Timely decisions and availability of funds are key to implementing short, medium and long term projects in accordance with their timelines.
The delegation was further apprised that contract for Mohmand Dam Hydropower Project has been awarded, while work on Diamer Basha Dam will also commence this year.
While appreciating the efforts made by WAPDA for harnessing water resources in the country, the LCCI delegation shared their views for construction of dams in Pakistan to meet the increasing requirements of water and electricity.