Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project to be inaugurated this month

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Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project to be inaugurated this month

LAHORE:Prevailing situation of water and power in the country calls for development of new water and hydro-power projects to cope with the ever-increasing demand for water and energy.

WAPDA Additional Chief Engineer (Dams) Shahid Hamid expressed these views while briefing a delegation of Command and Staff College, Quetta, during its visit to WAPDA House on Monday.

He added that per capita water availability in the country had decreased due to rapid growth in population and depleting water storage capacity of the existing reservoirs because of natural phenomenon of sedimentation.

Pakistan could store only 10 per cent of its annual rivers flow against the world average of 40 per cent, he said and added that WAPDA was committed to optimum development of water and hydropower resources in the country and working on a comprehensive strategy.

Shahid Hamid emphasised that Indus Cascade was Pakistan's most precious asset which would help add a big quantum of cheap hydel power generation and storages of water, citing that an additional area of 20 MAF land could be brought under irrigation owing to construction of new reservoirs.

He apprised the delegation that Diamer-Basha Dam, Mohmand Dam, Kurram Tangi Dam (Stage-1) and Naulong Dam were ready for construction, asserting that these dams had total storage capacity of more than 8 MAF and would produce about 5000 MW cheap hydel electricity after their completion.

He further briefed the participants that WAPDA had recently inaugurated Golen Gol Hydropower Project in January and Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project in February this year. He said that third Hydropower Project of WAPDA i.e. Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project, an excellence of engineering, was scheduled to be inaugurated in the mid of this month. All these three hydropower projects would add 2487 MW low cost hydel electricity in the national grid.

The delegation was also briefed about impact of climate change on water resources, water management challenges, water conservation and hydropower potential of the country.

In another briefing, PEPCO General Manager (Revenue and Commercial Operation) Muhammad Saleem informed the delegation about power sector reforms, electricity load-shedding, energy mix, distribution and transmission losses, billing and percentage of recovery and receivables. They were also informed about new initiatives regarding generation expansion plan, system improvement, meter reading through mobile phones, automatic metering infrastructure and net metering etc.

The briefing was followed by Question-Answer session. Later, Member (Finance) WAPDA and delegation head exchanged the souvenirs.

The delegation was headed by senior instructor Col Zeeshan Fayyaz. Member Finance Muhammad Ikram Khan Member Water Muhammad Nawaz Butt, Member Power Arshad Chaudhary, Secretary WAPDA Amer Ahmad and senior officers of WAPDA and PEPCO were also present.

APP/AFP