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Thursday June 13, 2024

Hydro power projects in progress despite COVID-19

By Our Correspondent
April 10, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Lt. General (R) Muzamil Hussain on Thursday said that despite coronavirus pandemic, work on hydro power projects was in progress round the clock while workers are discharging their duties in shift with all preventive measures.

Talking to newsmen here at the Supreme Court, he said that they used to consult Attorney General for Pakistan on legal matters, adding that he in his meeting with the AG deliberated upon the on-going projects of the Wapda and sought legal assistance.

“As process of restructuring was in progress in the organisation therefore, he met the AG seeking his legal assistance,” the chairman said. He said that effective preventive measures have been taken to protect the workers from the pandemic, adding that work on 24 power projects was in progress round the clock, adding that employees on the projects were working in different shifts.

To a question regarding Basha Dam, Wapda chairman said that they have resolved the issue of providing alternative land to the affected people, adding that the local people in Gilgit-Baltistan have been provided money as no land was available there. He said that the local people are quite happy over this and they can construct their houses wherever they want.

Muzzamil Husain further said that there was an issue of funds for the construction of Basha Dam while the international donors had refused to provide funds in this regard for which the matter remained pending for years. He, however, said that after detailed deliberations, the Wapda took the decision to build the dam with its own resources, adding that the government had provided only 18 percent funds for the project while the rest of the funds will be managed by the organisation itself.

He said that the dam will produce 4,500 mega watt electricity and this will prove as a game changer for economy of the country.

The Wapda chairman said that hydro power projects will enable the consumers to get electricity at Rs2 per unit while at present the consumers have to pay Rs18 per unit to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

“At present companies producing expensive electricity while maintaining their monopoly, are totally against the projects which will provide electricity to the people on cheaper rates,” he said.

The Wapda chairman, however, said that a committee constituted by the Supreme Court headed by former chairman Wapda Shamshul Mulk is supervising all these hydro power projects, adding that apart from local, some foreign experts are also included in the said committee. He further said that construction of Dassu and Mohmand dams will be completed in 2024.