LAHORE: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has decided to immediately start land acquisition for the multi-purpose Mohm­and Dam Hydropower Project.

The political agent of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) has also been instructed by the authority to establish a project management unit that would exclusively work on land acquisition in Mohmand Agency and adjoining areas, it is learnt.

The concrete-faced rock-fill type dam project with storage capacity of 1.293 million acres feet (MAF) is planned to be constructed on River Awat situated nearly five-km upstream of Munda Head Works in Mohmand Agency.

It has a height of 700 feet. Once completed, the project will help control floods in Charsadda, Nowshera and Peshawar and irrigate about 17,000 acres of agricultural land. It will have power generation capacity of 800MW, according to Wapda. It’s original PC1 cost is Rs938m.

“We need as many as 1,000 acres (8,000 kanals) for the project. Of total 1,000 acres, we immediately require 260 acres for setting up the camp offices by the contractors, construction of two periphery roads and some other administrative, functional and logistic arrangements ahead of initiating the civil work on the project.

Therefore, we have decided to first acquire this piece of land by end of August this year,” a senior Wapda official explained while talking to Dawn on Tuesday.

“We have also asked the political agent concerned to immediately start work on establishing a project management unit (PMU) by hiring the relevant staff having expertise on land acquisition, revenue related matters. Hopefully they (the Fata Admin) would send us a brief on this proposed structure/unit by next week,” he added.

Wapda considers Mohmand Dam a most important project that will contribute more than three billion units of electricity to the national grid every year.

Under the plan, the work on the project was to be commenced and completed in June 2012 and September 2016 respectively. However, due to various issues including non-availability of funds, the project’s execution faced a massive delay of six years. However, last month the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved Rs309.50 billion for this project.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2018

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