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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday laid the foundation stone of the Kurram Tangi Dam in North Waziristan, Radio Pakistan reported.

While addressing the gathering after laying the foundation stone, the prime minister termed the dam as beginning of a new era in North Waziristan saying “it symbolises the end of an era of fear”.

The development comes a day after the federal cabinet approved recommendations put forth by a reforms committee to bring the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in to the mainstream.

“You are aware that this change has not come all of a sudden, but a lot of sacrifices were rendered to achieve this,” the premier said.

The development of Fata has always been part of our agenda and we have initiated programmes to this effect, added the premier.

Nawaz expressed hope that the internally displaced people will return to their homes by the end of this year.

“The Kurram Tangi Dam project will cost Rs23 billion and will be completed in two phases. The first phase will be funded by US Aid while the expenses for the second phase will be covered by the government,” announced Nawaz.

The dam, which will produce 83.4 megawatts of electricity. The first phase is expected to be completed in two years.

Kurram Tangi Dam is a low-cost project with the capacity to store an ample amount of water and will help in reducing flooding in the surrounding areas.

"It will also help overcome floods in the area besides bringing socio-economic improvement in the area," read the statement issued by the state-broadcaster.

The project will also irrigate vast areas in North Waziristan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.