Islamabad  -   Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate construction work of 800MW Mohmand Dam, a project of multi-pronged benefits of ensuring water security, flood protection and cheap electricity generation, in the first week of January.

Mohamand dam was located in militancy-hit area and its inauguration can be termed a single ‘War to Water’, which will ensure water security in the country, Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda said this while addressing a press conference here.

Flanked by Secretary Water Resource, Shumail Khwaja and Chairman Wapda Lieutenant General (retd) Muzammil Hussain, Vawda said Mohmand dam was 54 years old project which was moving towards resolution and this was good news for whole nation.

The minister said that the dam was located in problematic militancy-hit area and thanked to the army chief for ensuring peace in this area which enabled the government to start work on this project. He said that along with PM, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa will also attend the opening ceremony of this project.

Mohmand Dam was approved by CDWP and ECNEC during the previous government of PML-N and was due to be inaugurated early next year.

He said that international community and future generation would recognise this project. He said that this dam was like Tarbela and Mangla which would not only generate 800 Megawatt electricity but store water to irrigate 17,000 acres of barren land. He said that it would also meet Peshawar’s water requirement for coming generations.

The minister said that government would require Rs300 to Rs315 billion funding to implement this project and entire funding would be arranged from local resources. He said that no international funding was taken to implement this project. Replying to question, he said that government did not need funding to carry out this project and added that foreign funding would be sought for hydel projects if required as the previous rulers had left exchequer empty.

Chairman Wapda Muzammil Hussain said that hydel projects were important for country but there was criminal negligence in the past as focus had increased on Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

He said that since 1967, no work on project like Tarbela dam was initiated which was criminal negligence. He said that this project was on a place where Kabul and Swat rivers were meeting. He said that it would mitigate floods and water for agriculture would be available in the area. He said that local people had supported the project which showed that militancy was not indigenous issue. He said that to reduce reliance on foreign funding they have adopted an innovative financial modal and will arrange the funds for the project through PSDP, equity and commercial loans. He said that as per the Prime Minister directives WAPDA will play leading role in the execution of the project, he added. WAPDA will start mobilization immediately in the area which will help saving around six months time, required for the mobilisation of the contractor.

He said that the gross storage of Mohmand is 1.2 MAF and it will irrigate the barren land of KP. He said that beside irrigation purposes 13 to 14 cusec water from the dam will be supplied to Peshawar. Beside it will protect the low lying areas, Charsadda, Mardan and Nowshera from flooding.

Regarding Dasu project, chairman Wapda said that the project had stuck due to non-availability of land and financing. He said that KP government and local people were on board which has helped resolved the issue of land. He said that the issue of financing had also been resolved. He said that first phase of this dam would be completed in five years 2022-23.

Replying a query regarding the capability of executing so many projects at a time, chairman WAPDA said that they are able to execute 15 projects simultaneously.

Replying to a query regarding Indian violation of Indus Water treaty, Secretary Water Resources Shamail Ahmad Khawaja said that Pakistan had approached World Bank as third party to address concerns of Pakistan on Kishanganga and Ratle projects. He said that World Bank had given some suggestions and attorney general of Pakistan was looking into it and Pakistan will submit its reply within a month.

He said that negotiations between Pakistan and India on water issues had been restored that were stuck in 2014. He said that inspection of projects by India on Chenab basin was planned, but due to elections there, it had been delayed. He said that they were in touch with Indian authorities and issue would be taken up in next round of talks in March or April.


Germany, China show investment interest in Mohmand dam


APP adds: German Ambassador in Pakistan Martin Kobler and representatives of Chinese Embassy Wednesday called on Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda and showed keen interest in investing in hydropower project of Mohmand Dam.

They expressed their desire to invest in the hydropower projects, a press statement said.

The minister thanked the visiting ambassador and representatives of Chinese Embassy and assured full support to them.