LAHORE: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has added 386 million more units to the national grid in 2014 against the previous year.
According to a Wapda spokesman, the Authority generated 31.289 billion units of hydel electricity in 2014 as compared to 30.903 billion units in year 2013.
He said this increased generation was made possible due to better hydrological conditions particularly in relation to Mangla Reservoir and efficient operation and maintenance of existing hydel power stations.
Moreover, commissioning of three hydropower projects in 2014 namely 17.4-MW Gomal Zam Dam, 22-MW Jabban Hydel Power Station and 130-MW Duber Khwar Hydropower Project has inducted a total of 170-MW of cheap hydroelectricity in the system, he added.
The enhanced production of hydel electricity comes at a time when the country is in acute need of electricity to run the engine of economy. The additional quantum of electricity will not only help minimize load-shedding during the winter season but also lower power tariff thereby providing relief to the people. Work on land acquisition and resettlement action plan continued for 4500-MW Diamer Basha Dam Project during the year.
WAPDA also started construction work on 1410-MW Tarbela 4th Extension and 2160-MW Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-1) in 2014 besides accelerating the pace of work on under-construction 969-MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project, which is nearing its completion. In the water sector, WAPDA achieved the historic milestone of impounding Raised Mangla Dam to its maximum capacity, which made it the largest dam of Pakistan by increasing its storage capacity by an additional 2.88 MAF.
The raised Mangla Dam played a leading role in trapping the peaks of floods in Jehlum and Chenab rivers in 2014 thereby reducing the extent of flood damage. WAPDA also completed the construction of phase-1 of Rainee Canal in June 2014, which will irrigate 113,690 acres of land.
A number of hydropower projects are under study including Harpo, Palas, Spat Gah, Basho, Patan, Thakot. WAPDA completed detailed engineering design and tender documents of 7100-MW Bunji Hydropower Project in 2014. The project is ready for construction subject to availability of funding. A number of water sector projects are scheduled to be completed in 2015 on which the work continues apace.
The phase-1 of Kachhi Canal Project, an off-take from Taunsa Barrage, will be completed in June 2015 and will irrigate 102,000 acres of land in District Dera Bugti in Balochistan. Darwat Dam, located near Hyderabad, is expected to be completed in March 2015, which will store 89,192 acres feet and irrigate a command cultivable area of 25,000 acres.
Nai Gaj Dam Project, to be completed in April 2015, has a storage capacity of 160,000 acre feet and will irrigate 28,800 acres of land. In the same manner, though Gomal Zam Dam was completed in 2013, the work on construction of Waran canal linked to the dam will be completed in June 2015 and will irrigate 191139 acres of land.