Harnessing water resources key to development: minister
LAHORE: Harnessing water resources is a key to national development, a provincial government official said.
Speaking at a ceremony at the Wapda House, Federal Minister for Water Resources Chaudhry Moonis Elahi said: “The federal government is executing water and hydropower projects to improve water situation and increase the ratio of hydel electricity in the national grid for providing low-cost energy to stabilise the economy.
The minister was briefed about the development portfolio of Wapda and the progress achieved so far on water and hydropower projects.
Elahi appreciated Wapda for implementing development portfolio and expressed the hope that it would be able to complete these projects according to their timelines.
The ministry would play its due role in completion of Wapda projects on time, he said.
Earlier, Wapda chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (Retd), giving a rundown of the development activities, said that Wapda is constructing more than 10 projects in water and hydropower sectors under the “Decade of Dams”. These projects included Diamer-Basha Dam, Mohmand Dam, Dasu hydropower project, Nai Gaj Dam, Sindh Barrage and K-IV project are scheduled to be completed one by one by 2028/29.
On completion of these projects, gross water storage capacity will increase from 13MAF to more than 24MAF with an addition of 11.7MAF, sufficient to irrigate another 1.6 million acres of land and provide 950 million gallons/day for drinking purposes to Karachi and Peshawar.
The installed hydel generation capacity will be doubled to cross 18,000MW with an addition of 9,000MW. These projects will also provide around 35,000 job opportunities during the construction, the Wapda chairman said.
WAPDA member (finance) Naveed Asghar briefed the minister about the authority’s financial strategy to arrange funds for the construction of its projects.
Member (Water) Abdul Zahir Khan Durrani apprised the minister about the water sector projects, while Member (Power) Jamil Akhtar informed about Wapda’s hydel power situation.
HRD general manager Brig Shoaib Taqi (Retd) highlighted the measures being taken to make its human resource more efficient in line with the modern human resource techniques.
Water Resources joint secretary Syed Mehar Ali Shah, Wapda managing director (Admin) Khalid Saleem, secretary Fakharuzzaman Ali Cheema and PSO to chairman Brig Mateen Ahmed Mirza (Retd) also attended the briefing.
Later, the minister planted a sapling at the Wapda House premises.
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