For implementation of the first stage of Dasu Hydropower Project with generation capacity of 2160MW, the WAPDA Monday signed two agreements for relocation of Karakuram Highway (KKH) and construction of Right Bank Access Road in the project area. The construction work on the project would start as soon as possible.

The contracts were signed between WAPDA and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) here in a ceremony held at WAPDA House. WAPDA Chairman Zafar Mahmood, Members of the Authority, CCECC Acting President Hao Xizhong, CCECC Assistant President Wang Xiangdong and Dasu Project authorities were present on the occasion. Dasu General Manager and Project Director Haji Muhammad Farooq and CCECC Director General Asia Oceanica Li Shiquan signed the contracts on behalf of their respective organizations.

The contract namely Dasu-KKH-01 worth Rs.14.538 billion relates to relocation of 25-kilometer (Km) long stretch of KKH. The contract is scheduled to be implemented in 546 days. The two-lane relocated stretch will be constructed at a higher attitude with the design standard prescribed for KKH. With construction of this strip, the passage to the mechanical area and access to the dam site will be bypassed so as not to hinder the construction activities on the project. Most importantly, the people will also get hassle-free quality road service.

The second contract namely Dasu-RAR-01, amounting to Rs.2.713 billion, is scheduled to be implemented in one year. This 12-kilometer long road will be constructed on the right bank of the River Indus from Komila to Seo Dam site. At the moment, there is no proper road access except a jeepable track. The construction of the two-lane access road will not only enable the project authorities to initiate work on camps and proposed vocational training institutes but also provide thousands of people of adjoining areas with all-weather quality road facility.

The district administration is currently busy in land acquisition for stage-1 of Dasu Hydropower Project. The project authorities have, however, said that the process of acquiring land is slow, and expressed the apprehension that implementation on two contracts as well as very completion of the Stage-I of Dasu project will suffer a delay if the pace of land acquisition is not accelerated.

The project authorities said that taking notice of slow pace of land acquisition, Khawja Muhammad Asif, Federal Minister for Water and Power, in a letter, requested the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Chief Minister to speed up the land acquisition process. They said that the KPK governor has also directed the district administration to accelerate the pace of acquiring land for Dasu project.

Command & Staff College delegation visits Wapda House: A 62-member delegation of Command & Staff College, Quetta visited WAPDA House on Monday and attended briefings on the water and power sector issues. The delegation, which was led by Col Umer Nasim, is currently in Lahore in connection with the country study tour. WAPDA Member (Power) Badr-ul-Munir Murtaza and senior officers of WAPDA and PEPCO were also present on the occasion.

Dr Izhar-ul-Haq, WAPDA Advisor (Diamer Basha Dam) delivered a comprehensive briefing regarding water and hydropower sector. He enlightened WAPDA’s vision, charter and achievements since its inception in 1958. He apprised the delegates about various hydel projects being implemented by WAPDA.

Addressing the visiting delegation, the Advisor (Diamer Basha Dam) said that WAPDA is committed to optimum development of water and hydropower resources in the country. He said that WAPDA is working on a comprehensive strategy for exploitation of these sectors under the directions of the Federal Govt.

He said that a number of WAPDA projects are at various phases of implementation, which, on completion, would augment the country’s water resources and add sizeable quantum of low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid.

In another briefing, General Manager (Revenue and Commercial Operation) PEPCO briefed the delegation on power sector. The delegation was informed about power sector reforms, existing power generation capabilities, generation mix, consumption patterns, line losses, and factors behind increase in electricity tariff. The delegation was also apprised of the government’s efforts to overcome the electricity crisis. The delegation was informed of the load forecast, generation additions and long term transmission expansion plan to evacuate electricity from the power houses to the distribution companies.

The briefing was followed by question and answer session. The delegates asked questions on different aspects of water and power sectors. Later, Member (Power) Badr-ul-Munir Murtaza and delegation head exchanged the souvenirs.