MUNDA: The multi-purpose Mohmand Dam, the first mega hydropower generation project in the country after Tarbela Dam, would protect Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera from floods besides creating 6,100 jobs and irrigating 18,237 acres more land, said a top official.
“Around 600 local engineers are being trained at the project. The dam would irrigate 18,237 acres more land besides supplementing 160,000 acres of existing land after completion,” Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain told reporters.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the Rs309.56 billion dam on May 2, 2019.
Mohmand Dam, the fifth highest concrete-face-rock-fill dam in the world, is being constructed on River Swat about five kilometers upstream of Munda Headworks in Mohmand district and is considered a vital contribution towards the water, food and energy security of Pakistan. It would generate 800 megawatts electricity after its completion in 2025.
The Wapda chief said Mohmand Dam would also provide 300 million gallons of water daily to Peshawar. “The dam would protect Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera from floods,” he added.
He said the irrigation component of the dam would have an annual benefit of Rs2.23 billion, water supply to Peshawar would have Rs957 million monetary value while flood mitigation benefits are estimated at Rs1.467 billion.
It would provide 2.86 billion units of electricity to the national grid and the annual revenue from power generation is expected at Rs45.76 billion. The overall annual benefits of the project stand at Rs51 billion.
The work on the project had not been stopped during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Wapda chairman said, adding, all the timelines of different components were on target. “Mohmand Dam will control flood, play role in agriculture development, provide drinking water to Peshawar besides power generation,” he explained.
He said the land acquisition had been made possible by the unprecedented support of locals, district administration and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
The official said that Rs4.53 billion would be spent on the confidence-building measures for socio-economic development in the project area. He maintained that Mohmand Dam was instrumental for economic stability and social development of Pakistan.
Another official said that project offices, 418 family residences, hostels, 30-bed hospital, high school, market, community centre and graveyard were being constructed on 63 acres of land.
Earlier, Mohmand Dam Project Director and General Manager Muhammad Javed Afridi briefed the Wapda Chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain on the pace of work on the dam.
He said that construction work on nine different sites of the Mohmand Dam is in progress while access tunnels for swift excavation of the diversion tunnels has been completed.
The official said that the excavation work on the main dam, spillway, power intake, diversion tunnels and re-regulation pond was underway in addition to construction work on irrigation tunnels, access roads, project colony and offices.
The bailey bridge across the Swat River is also being constructed for mobilisation of construction machinery and workforce on both banks of the river.