By AMRAIZ KHAN
LAHORE – Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Lt-General Muzammil Hussain (retd) has said the National Water resource and Hydropower Development Program being undertaken by Wapda to tackle the severe water and energy crisis in Pakistan.
He expressed these views while talking to Faisal Zahid Malik, the Editor-in-Chief, daily Pakistan Observer at his Lahore office on Thursday.
The Wapda chairman shared that electricity prices would drop by 2025 as working on mega power projects is underway. He said and added, since the construction of the Mangla Dam, the country’s population has risen to 216 million and is estimated to reach 280 million by 2025, resulting in a severe energy and water crisis. The chairman further said Wapda has also commenced construction work on the extension of the Kachhi Canal following the award of the contract and mobilization of the contractors to the sites.
The extension of the Kachhi Canal is being carried out through three different contracts with a cumulative cost of Rs.19.504 billion. Under the works, the existing main canal will be further extended by another 40 kilometers (Km). In addition, 32-Km long water distribution system will also be constructed in the command area to irrigate another 30,000 acres of land in Dera Bugti district of Balochistan. “The extension works are scheduled to be completed by August 2022”, he explained.
Moreover, Wapda has already constructed 363-Km main canal and 81-Km long allied water distribution system to irrigate 72,000 acres of land. “The canal, with a discharge capacity of 6000 cusecs, that takes off from Taunsa Barrage in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab, enters Balochistan in Dera Bugti district”, the chairman maintained.
Kachhi Canal is a vital project to alleviate poverty and eradicate extremism in remote and backward areas of Balochistan by developing irrigated agriculture and agro-based economy in the province. It is a good omen for Balochistan that the land being cultivated in Sui and adjacent areas of Dera Bugti district through the existing Kachhi Canal has brought in a phenomenal change in the livelihood of the locals.
Mr. Faisal Zahid Malik also presented a book “Mazmeen Quran” authored by a late veteran journalist, Mr. Zahid Malik, to chairman Wapda.