ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Monday told the National Assembly that as many as 32 small and medium sized dams would be constructed in two phases during the next five years in the country. In a written reply to a question, the Minster said that according to phase-I, 13 dams would be constructed during the years 2009-13, while in phase-II, 19 dams would be constructed during the years 2010-14. These dams were principally meant for irrigation purpose, however, their hydropower potential would also be explored, he said. According to the data available in the National Assembly Library, the new dams, which will be constructed in Phase-I in Balochistan, include Hirgol (1 Mega Watt), Pelar (0.72 MW), Winder (0.3 MW), Garuk (0.72MW) and Naulorg (1MW) with estimated costs of $205 million, $35 million, $2 million and $24 million respectively. Similarly four new dams including Nai Gaj (2.3MW), Khadeji (0.2MW), Darawat (0.45MW) and Sita (0.15MW) would be constructed in Sindh with estimated costs of $231 million, $10 million, $70 million and $18 million respectively. In Phase-II, three dams including Sukieji, Basol and Badinzai would be constructed in Balochistan. Similarly four dams including Salari, Nali, Khenji and Naing Daqm would be constructed in the province of Sindh. According to the data, as many as eight dams including Chaudwan Zam, Tank Zam, Seikh Haider, Chashmai Akor, Chowkas, Totakan and Siran would be constructed in the NWFP. A total of five dams including Kot Fateh, Mujahid, Lawa, Mohra Shera and Jamalwal will be constructed in Punjab. The Minister told the Lower House of the Parliament if rental power plants were abolished, the energy crisis in the country would remain unresolved for the next two years. The Minster while answering a supplementary question said there was not much difference between the tariffs of IPPs and power plants. A total of 31,706 million KW of electricity had been purchased at an average rate of Rs 8.41 per unit and was provided to public at the rate of Rs 5.44 during 2008-09, he said. He said that a period of three years was required to implement IPPs projects, while hydel power projects required at least six years for completion. The Minster also announced to replace old-fashioned electric metres with the latest digital ones. He also informed that three kinds of taxes were being levied on electricity including 16 per cent GST and 10 per cent withholding tax. He strongly berated the baseless propaganda by media over rental power plants and said that they were necessary in view of prevalent energy crisis. About the upraising of Mangla Dam, he said that the project had been successfully concluded. He said original height of Mangla Dam was 1234 feet SPD but now it had been raised to 1264 ft SPD. In another written reply to a question, the minister said that the total demand of electricity in the country at present was 16,000 MW, while the total generating capacity in the country was 14,898 MW. He added that the total supply of power was 12,500 MW.