Altaf Hamid Rao,
MIRPUR (AJK): In the wake of recent earthquake in Mirpur (AJK), the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (Retd) Thursday visited Mangla Dam and its components comprising the main dam, spill way, and power house.
The WAPDA Chairman said on this occasion that Mangla Dam and Power House are safe and have not suffered any damage in the recent quake. Power generation was stopped as a precautionary measure due to large quantum of silt and sediments in the water that could be devastating for power generating turbines. He further stated that we have collected data from the various installed devices and various tests have been carried out to check the efficiency of turbines. He said that power generation from Mangla Power Station has been resumed.
WAPDA Chairman said that Mangla Dam has been contributing towards socio-economic development of the country for the last five decades by releasing the stored water for agriculture, mitigating floods and providing low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid. Since its commissioning in 1967, Mangla Dam provided about 237.35 billion units of electricity to the National Grid. 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 said 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.
Giving an account of Mangla Hydel power Station, the Chairman said 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.