Pakistan to build 10 dams in next 10 years, says PM Imran
Breaks ground for $807 million Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower project
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Speaking at a Tarbela Dam ceremony, Imran Khan said “Pakistan is producing electricity at high costs because it did not draw long-term planning. Pakistan’s planning was the only election to election.”
Imran Khan said the government had decided to construct 10 dams within the next 10 years with a view to avert the looming water scarcity in the country as well as protect future generations. “We have decided to construct 10 dams within 10 years including Dassu and Bhasha dams. We may face water shortage in the future and would be unable to cope with the needs of people and farmers unless we have storages,” he added.
The prime minister said the project’s objective was to achieve clean energy and make Pakistan contribute to fight global warming.
Referring to a latest research, Imran Khan said the world weather was turning hot very fast making the world face the issues like forest fires as had been witnessed in US, Turkey, Greece and countries.
Moreover, the unprecedented floods and extremely hot weathers like Jacobabad were also the consequences of global warming.
The prime minister viewed that the generation of clean energy would help mitigate the effects of global warming. He resolved to make Pakistan a country with its major chunk of energy coming from clean sources like hydro, solar or wind instead of fuels.
Besides providing clean energy, the Tarbela-5 would also protect the dam against silting was just four kilometers from the reservoir, he added.
Moreover, the construction of Dassu and Bhasha dams would also help slow down the silt.
Imran Khan said unfortunately, the previous governments had not constructed water reservoirs either due to lack of long-term planning or because they just focused their five-year term.
He told the gathering that the construction of Bhasha Dam was decided in 1984 but was not constructed owing to lack long-term planning.
The prime minister said the previous governments had signed exorbitant contracts making the country pay whether the electricity was consumed or not. This way, the consumers including the industry had to bear the cost. Owing to the costly electricity, the industry could not compete with the world market until the government paid subsidy.
He said China was making progress just because of the long-term planning.
Imran Khan said Pakistan’s rivers got 80% of water inflow within three to four months and the construction of reservoirs was extremely essential to store supply water throughout the year.
He hoped the construction of Mohmand Dam would complete by 2025 and Bhasha Dam in 2028 which would ensure the protection of future generations.
The World Bank (W) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are providing $390 million and $300 million, respectively, for the project to be completed by 2024.
The Prime Minister on this occasion was given a detailed briefing on the project by Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Lt-Gen (r) Muzamil Hussain.
During the briefing, it was told that T-5 Hydropower Project will enhance the life of Tarbela Dam by addressing the issue of sedimentation and ensuring sustainable irrigation releases.
The Prime Minister was told that the project will generate another 1530 MW of low cost and environmental friendly electricity.
With completion of T-5, installed capacity of Tarbela Dam will increase from 4888 MW to 6418 MW, it was told.
The Prime Minister was told that T-5 will provide 1.347 billion units of low-cost and green energy to the national grid on the average every year.
The project will generate around 3000 employment opportunities during the construction phase, it was told.
The Prime Minister on this occasion also planted a sapling of pine tree.
Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, Federal Ministers Umar Ayub Khan, Ch Moonis Elahi, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib. Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shah Farman and Chief Minister Mehmood Khan were also present on the occasion.