The federal government on Wednesday announced that construction work on the much-awaited Mohmand dam project will begin from the first week of January 2019.
Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, while addressing a press conference in Islamabad along with Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain, said the dam will be constructed through local funding and around Rs17-18 billion would be spent from the annual allotment of the Public Sector Development Programme (PDSP) over the next five years.
Vawda said the 54-year-old project would now be materialised with the collective efforts of the PTI government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar Chief, who will be invited as chief guests to the inauguration ceremony.
He said the chief justice took a personal interest in the project and helped remove obstacles standing in the way of its commencement.
Faisal Vawda said the nation would hear more good news in the future and those politicians "who pushed the nation into darkness would not be spared".
German Ambassador in Pakistan Martin Kobler and representatives of Chinese Embassy also called on Vawda and showed a keen interest in investing in the hydropower project of Mohmand dam, according to a press release.
The Wapda chairman regretted that no mega project could be initiated after the construction of Tarbela dam in 1967, resulting in the energy and water crisis in the country.
He said Mohmand dam would not only store 1.2 million acre-feet water but also generate 800 MW hydel electricity besides irrigating 18,000 acres land. The project would also help protect Mardan, Charsadda, Peshawar and other areas from floods during monsoon season.
The chairman said the Indus Cascade had the potential of generating over 30,000 to 40,000 MW hydel electricity.
Replying to a question, he said Wapda had completed mega projects like Mangla and Tarbela dams, along with 15 small dams including Khanpur and five barrages in the past.
Neelum Jhelum project was completed during the stipulated time while all three units of the Tarbela Fourth Extension project were fully functional, he added.
He said Golan Gol and Kacchi Canal projects, which had been abandoned in the past, were being executed by Wapda.
The chairman said the prime minister and the steering committee had resolved the issue of funding while the chief minister had helped settle the land acquisition issue of the project.
To another question, he said the first phase of the Dasu dam would be completed by 2022 to 2023.
Regarding Kishanganga and other disputed projects by India, Water Resources Secretary Shamail Ahmad Khawaja said the attorney general office was reviewing the report of the World Bank.