ISLAMABAD: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and a united jirga from three districts in Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa’s Kohistan region signed an agreement on Monday to facilitate the construction of a transmission line for evacuation of 4,300 megawatts electricity to be generated by Dasu dam and other hydropower projects.

The “Confidence-Buil­ding Mea­s­ures’ Agree­ment (CBMA) was sig­ned between Wapda, the ad­­m­inistration of Hazara division, and notables from the three districts — Upper Kohistan, Lower Kohis­tan and Kolai Palas Kohistan.

Under the agreement, Wapda committed to implementing development schemes — to be selected through a yet to be conducted field survey — as CBMs under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in consultation with the civil administrations and the locals, Wapda said in a statement.

“Most importantly, this agreement will pave the way for smooth execution and completion of long-delayed 132kV transmission line from Duber hydel power station to Dasu, direly needed for stable supply of electricity during peak construction period of Dasu project,” it added.

Wapda commits to provide jobs to locals, compensate affectees of Duber Khwar power project

Wapda agreed to construct three hydel power stations of at least three megawatts in the three districts of Kohistan.

The authority will also build one high school and one vocational training centre in each of the three districts, besides reconstructing a high school in Seo, Upper Kohistan.

Payment of arrears

The Wapda also gave an undertaking to ensure payment of electricity arrears payable by domestic consumers up to December this year to Peshawar Electric Supply Company, provide Class-4 jobs to the locals, give preference to them in other jobs, and pay compensation to the affectees of Duber Khwar transmission line in Pattan Seri and Palas Seri.

Wapda will provide a household package to the people affected by the construction of Kheyal Khwar and Dasu hydropower projects.

A Wapda spokesperson said the cost of compensation and CSR was not clear at this stage as these would be worked out through a survey.

In return, elders of these districts would ensure immediate resumption of construction work on Duber-Dasu transmission line. The notables of Upper Kohistan, Lower Kohistan and Kolai Palas Kohistan districts will also ensure smooth execution of the transmission line till its completion.

The signing of the agreement was witnessed by prime minister’s adviser Amir Muqam, Wapda chairman retired Lt Gen Sajjad Ghani, Hazara Commissioner Mutaher Zeb, notables from Kohistan region and Wapda officials.

Wapda is constructing the 4,320MW Dasu hydropower project on River Indus in Upper Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The project is being completed in two stages. At present, the authority is working on stage-I, which has an installed generation capacity of 2,160MW and an annual energy generation of 12 billion units of low-cost and environment-friendly electricity.

It is envisaged that stage-II will provide nine billion units electricity to the national grid. On completion of both stages, the Dasu project will have the highest annual energy generation in the country: 21 billion units on an average.

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2022

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