LAHORE, April 22: The Water and Power Development Authority, with the help of USAID, has completed Pakistan’s first roller compact concrete (RCC) Gomal Zam dam and started filling the lake last week. Briefing the visiting delegates belonging to Wapda, USAID and the media, Frontier Works Organisation director-general Maj-Gen Najibullah Khan said that the dam built on the Gomal river in South Waziristan at a cost of Rs10.4 billion could store around 1.14 million acre feet water, generate 17.4MW electricity and irrigate 163,000 acres of land. “Had it not been for timely assistance of $40 million by USAID, the project could never have been completed,” he said.

The project was completely stalled, rather abandoned in 2004, after the kidnapping of some Chinese engineers. But the US agency chimed in with the money and the FWO replaced the Chinese contractors to restart the project.

Talking to journalists on the dam site, USAID mission director Andrew Sisson claimed that his agency was considering financial support for Kurram Tangi and Diamer-Basha projects as well.

Praising the project, he expressed the hope that it would transform the area by creating jobs, supporting economic growth and improving the lives of local people.

The agency is already involved in supporting rehabilitation of a few aging thermal projects of Pepco and extension of Tarbela.

Wapda chairman Shakeel Durrani said that it was the first-ever mega project in Fata.

He said Wapda was looking forward to another $40million grant by USAID to help complete the irrigation component and develop command area of the dam.



Dark days
Updated 26 May, 2022

Dark days

The PTI, on its part, does not seem to have been prepared to face such a large deployment of state machinery.
26 May, 2022

No room for dissent

WHILE political turmoil roils the land, a number of incidents over the past few days have demonstrated that though...
26 May, 2022

Harassing passengers

REPORTS of the confiscation of personal items from passengers’ private luggage by customs officials at Karachi’s...
Back to bedlam
Updated 25 May, 2022

Back to bedlam

FEAR tactics have never worked in the past, and most likely will not this time either. The government’s ...
25 May, 2022

Balochistan blaze

THE forest fire on the Koh-i-Sulaiman range in Balochistan’s Shirani area is among a series of blazes to have...
25 May, 2022

Unequal citizens

INDIFFERENCE would have been bad enough, but the state’s attitude towards non-Muslims falls squarely in the...