DUNYA NEWS, SOUTH WAZIRISTAN, 13th SEPTEMBER 2013:- Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif says the government is working day and night to overcome electricity shortfall.
Inaugurating Gomal Zam Dam in South Waziristan‚ he said the project completed at a cost of 22 billion rupees‚ will produce 17.4 megawatt electricity. He said the project will cultivate thousands acres of barren land.
Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif and State Minister Abid Sher Ali inaugurated the Dam.
Governor Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Engineer Shaukatullah and US Ambassador Richard Olson were also present on the occasion.
Meanwhile‚ in an interview‚ Khawaja Asif said the government will overcome power shortage before the next elections.
He said modern technology and smart meters will be introduced to overcome power pilferage.
To a question‚ Khawaja Asif said 2500 megawatt electricity can be saved through early closures of markets. He said increase of water in Mangla Dam will help enhance electricity generation.
The multi-purpose Gomal Zam Dam is Pakistan’s first roller compact concrete (RCC) dam. It will not only irrigate 163,000 acres barren land of Tank district and Kulachi tehsil of D.I.Khan, but will also generate 17.4 MW of low-cost hydel power.
According to a report by the Planning Commission, D.I. Khan and Tank are among the 25 poorest districts of the country. The agricultural land either remains ‘barani’ (rain-fed) or the farmers are dependent on indigenous irrigation system known as ‘rod kohi’ (hill torrent).
But the commencement of the project will help store the water for irrigation, mitigate floods, and provide the employment opportunities for youth and also bolster the income of poor segments of society.
Chinese engineers working on the Gomal Dam in South Waziristan had suspended operations after their engineers were killed in a militant kidnapping in 2004. Later, the contract was given to Frontier Works Organisation (FWO).