ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif performed the groundbreaking of the Kurram Tangi Dam in North Waziristan agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)  on Friday, Radio Pakistan reported.

Kurram Tangi Dam would have a water storage capacity of 1.2 million acre-feet (MAF) in addition to generating 83.4 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

Sources said that Kurram Tangi Dam would be completed in two phases. The first phase of the project will be completed in about three years.

The project will be implemented in two stages. First stage of the project will take three years' time to be completed.

The project could be a significant development towards water and energy security in the country.

Kurram Tangi Dam would provide water for irrigated agriculture in North Waziristan Agency and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, mitigate floods and generate hydel electricity.

The project would not only help cope with increasing requirements of water and electricity in the country but also usher in an area of socio-economic development in the far-flung and backwards areas of North Waziristan Agency and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Pakistan on Thursday announced plans to bring its militancy-wracked tribal areas into the mainstream political fold by ending a de facto system of direct rule that critics said suppressed development and fuelled extremism.

"The cabinet has in principle approved the recommendations of the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) Reforms Committee," Sartaj Aziz, head of a government reforms committee and a senior aide to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told reporters in Islamabad.

The seven tribal districts Bajaur, Khyber, Kurram, Mohmand, North Waziristan , Orakzai and South Waziristan, are home to some eight million residents, mainly ethnic Pashtuns.

Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif said the federal government had provided Rs 25 billion during last three years for construction of Lowari Tunnel, a project pending for the last 40 years.

The prime minister, while addressing the groundbreaking ceremony of Tangi Kurram Dam, said that the Lowari Tunnel project would be completed in next four months and opened to all kind of traffic.

“It would give free access to the people of Chitral, who remained disconnected from rest of the country in extreme weather conditions,” he added.

The prime minister said that 106 Mega Watt Golan-Gol Hydro Power Project in Chitral district was also under construction that would fulfill energy demand of the district, besides adding considerable energy to the national grid.

The completion of hydro power project in Chitral in KP would facilitate in establishment of industrial units that would end poverty in those areas and provide opportunities to the local people.