LAHORE - Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Lt Gen (r) Muzammil Hussain on Wednesday visited the 969MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project and reviewed pace of construction work on various sites of the project including composite dam, spill way, de-sander, diversion tunnel and power house.

During the visit, the Wapda chairman expressed satisfaction over the progress achieved during the last six months, as most of the critical activities have been carried out successfully and the project is heading towards its completion with a good pace. He also noted that breakthrough of the right tunnel is likely to be achieved in April 2017, and with this achievement, excavation of 68.5 kilometer long tunnels, considered to be the most critical component of the project, will stand completed.

It is pertinent to mention here that excavation of left tunnel of the project was completed in October 2016. Witnessing construction activities inside the diversion tunnel, the Wapda chairman emphasized upon the project management to ensure stipulated construction standards. He also directed them to maintain the pace of work in order to meet the timelines of present working schedule for completion of the project.

The Wapda chairman was briefed that the construction work on the project which started in 2008 remained slow due to certain reasons – financial constraints and redesigning of the project during the construction phase being the major contributing factors. However, most of the bottlenecks have been removed during the present regime. Consequently, the construction work gained momentum and the project is now 90 percent complete. Two of the four generating units have been assembled and are now in place in the power house, while the remaining two units are being assembled.

The project management is confident that the first unit of Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project will be ready for wet commissioning test run in February 2018, whereas rest of the three units will also commence test run by April 2018, it was further briefed.