LAHORE - A delegation of the PAF Air War College Faisal Karachi headed by the College Commandant Air Vice-marshal Pirzada Kamaluddin A Siddiqui yesterday visited Wapda House to attend a briefing on water and power sectors of the country.

Wapda Member (Water) Muhammad Shoaib Iqbal, Member (Power) Badr-ul- Munir Murtiza, Managing Director (Administration) Muhammad Ashraf Khan and senior officers of Wapda briefed the delegation.

Member (Water) said that a number of mega water storage projects including Diamer Basha Dam were ready for implementation to improve the storage capacity and per capita water availability in the country.

Responding to a question regarding funds for construction of mega water reservoirs, he apprised the delegation that a sum of US $14 billion is needed to construct Diamer Basha Dam. In view of the financial constraints, Wapda plans to construct Diamer Basha Dam in various stages, he added.

Earlier, Wapda Director Small and Medium Dams Shahid Hamid and Engineer Muhammad Saleem, GM (Revenue and Commercial Operations) PEPCO, made presentations on water and power sectors respectively.

Director Small and Medium Dams said that per capita water availability in the country has decreased to 1032 cubic meter in 2015 from 5260 cubic meter in 1951 due to rapid growth in population and depleting water storage capacity of the reservoirs because of sedimentation. He said that water security is a key component of national security as growth of national economy largely depends on availability of sufficient amount of water. Since water requirements are increasing due to increasing population, there is a dire need to replenish scarce water resources through construction of water reservoirs in the country.

The delegation was informed that WAPDA is currently constructing different hydropower projects of 4856- megawatt (MW) cumulatively. The under-construction projects include 969-MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project, 106-MW Golen Gol, 1410-MW Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project, 128-MW Keyal Khwar, 2160-MW Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-I) and 84-MW Kurram Tangi Dam Project, he further explained.

The participants were apprised about key challenges and opportunities in the power sector including the role and functions of Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), National Transmission Dispatch Company (NTDC), Generation Companies (GENCOs) and Distribution Companies (DISCOs). They were also informed about power sector reforms.

Later, Member (Water) and PAF delegation head exchanged the souvenirs as memento to the visit.