LAHORE, May 6: The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has completed detailed engineering design and tender documents of the 7,100MW Bunji Hydropower Project, and will soon undertake the construction of the largest hydropower project.

Wapda Chairman Syed Raghib Abbas Shah expressed these views in a meeting with Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Secretary Sajjad Saleem Hotiana here at Wapda House. The meeting was held to discuss various Wapda projects located in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Wapda chairman said mega projects such as Bunji and Diamer-Bhasha Dam would not only help stabilise the national economy but also usher in an era of social and economic development in Gilgit-Baltistan.

He lauded the cooperation being extended by the Gilgit-Baltistan government in implementing Wapda projects in the region.

He said Wapda would fulfill all its commitments regarding the construction of projects and resettlement of their affectees.

Later, the implementation status of the decisions taken on January 17 was discussed in detail. The meeting was informed that the Gilgit-Baltistan administration would complete the ground survey as well satellite imageries for geographical mapping of the project in two weeks. The matter pertaining to handing over the government land to Wapda also came under discussion.

The chairman said in view of the significance of resettlement of Diamer-Bhasha dam project affectees, the priority should be given to acquire land for the construction of model villages in the area.

Deliberations were also made about Satpara Dam, Harpo, Bashoo and Phander hydropower projects. It was decided that a study would jointly be conducted by Wapda and Gilgit-Baltistan to address issues relating to the Satpara Dam.

The study will also assess future requirements of water in Skardu and adjacent areas, their fulfillment through Shatung Nullah, its environmental impact and a way forward for the purpose.

The meeting also agreed to devise a perpetual operation and management methodology for the Satpara dam project with the active involvement of Gilgit-Baltistan.

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