Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) is spending a hefty amount of over Rs100 billion in project areas for progress and prosperity of the local population.

“In addition to stabilising the national economy by developing irrigated agriculture, mitigating devastating floods and injecting low-cost hydel electricity into the national grid, the authority plays a role in socio-economic development of people residing in project areas,” said Wapda in a statement on Monday.

The sum of Rs100 billion was being utilised on confidence-building measures (CBM) in project areas of four under-construction projects of Wapda including Diamer Bhasha Dam, Mohmand Dam, Dasu Dam and Tarbela Fifth Extension project to complete various development schemes, it said.

The schemes relate to healthcare, education and infrastructure development to bring a positive change to the lifestyle of people hailing from far-flung and backward areas, which fall very low in the Human Development Index.

The money invested in these development schemes would help improve tremendously the standing of these backward areas in the Human Development Index, Wapda said.

Diamer Bhasha Dam is being constructed across Indus River 40 km downstream of Chilas town of Gilgit-Baltistan with gross water storage capacity of 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) and installed power generation capacity of 4,500 megawatts.

A sum of Rs78.5 billion has been allocated for execution of development schemes in the project area for the socio-economic uplift of people.

Meanwhile, Mohmand Dam is being built across Swat River in Mohmand tribal district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with gross water storage capacity of 1.2 MAF and power generation capacity of 800MW. An allocation of Rs4.57 billion has been made for undertaking development schemes in the project area for healthcare, education, drinking water and infrastructure development.

Dasu Hydropower Project stage-I is being executed across Indus River in Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with installed power generation capacity of 2,160MW.

Wapda is spending Rs17.35 billion in this remote area on the completion of development schemes for resettlement, social development and environmental management to alleviate poverty from the project area.

Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project is being implemented on the 5th tunnel of Tarbela Dam located in Haripur district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with installed generation capacity of 1,530MW.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2021.

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