LAHORE: In addition to stabilizing national economy by developing irrigated agriculture, mitigating devastating floods and injecting low-cost hydel electricity into the National Grid, WAPDA projects also play a phenomenal role in socio-economic development of the people residing in the project areas.
This can best be judged from the fact that WAPDA has been spending a hefty amount of over Rs100 billion in the project areas for progress and prosperity of the local populace.
This amount is being utilized on confidence building measures (CBM) in the project areas of four under construction projects of WAPDA namely Diamer Basha Dam, Mohmand Dam, Dasu and Tarbela 5th Extension to complete various development schemes.
These schemes relate to resettlement of the affectees, health, education and infrastructure development etc. to bring in a positive change in life style of the people hailing from far-flung and backward areas, which fall very low in human development index. Injecting Rs100 billion by WAPDA in development schemes will help improve the human development index tremendously in these backward areas.
Diamer Basha Dam is being constructed across River Indus 40-Km downstream Chilas Town of Gilgit Baltistan with gross water storage capacity of 8.1 MAF and installed power generation capacity of 4500 MW. A sum of Rs78.5 billion has been allocated to implement development schemes in the project area for social and economic uplift of the people.
Mohmand Dam is being built across River Swat in Tribal District Mohmand of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with gross water storage capacity of 1.2 MAF and power generation capacity of 800 MW Rs4.57 billion have been allocated to undertake development schemes in the project area for health, education, drinking water and infrastructure development.
Dasu Hydropower Project Stage-I is being executed across River Indus in District Kohistan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with installed power generation capacity of 2160 MW. WAPDA is spending Rs17.35 billion in this remote area for completion of development schemes on resettlement, social development and environment management to alleviate poverty from the project area.
Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project is being constructed on the 5th Tunnel of Tarbela Dam located in District Haripur of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with installed generation capacity of 1530 MW. Though no resettlement is involved in construction of this project yet Rs298 million have been earmarked for development of the people in the project area as confidence building measures.