PTI shelves inauguration of Mohmand Dam project

The ceremony has reportedly been postponed due to the controversies over the award of contract of the dam project…
ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has postponed the inauguration of the Mohmand dam project, which was scheduled for Jan 2, without announcing the new date.

A Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) spokesman has confir­med the development but not cited any reason behind this, a leading English newspaper reported.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, who have also initiated a fundraising campaign to build water reservoirs in the country, were set to attend the much-awaited ceremony as the chief guests.

Meanwhile, Iftikhar Durrani, the spokesperson for the prime minister, said that he was not aware of shelving the launching ceremony, Dawn News reported.

The project with Rs309 billion estimated cost is vital for the country facing a shortage of energy and problems of water scarcity.

The Supreme Court, while issuing a detailed verdict in water scarcity case, highlighted that “the need for water reservoirs is not only expedient but also sine qua non (an essential condition) for the survival of the people and economy of Pakistan”.

The media outlet claimed that the ceremony has been postponed due to the alleged dispute over the award of contract of the dam project.

As per the data available on the Wapda’s website, the detailed engineering design of the project was completed in April, 2017, while hiring of consultancy services for construction design, construction supervision and contract management of Mohmand Dam Hydropower Project is in the progress.

A tentative construction plan available of the official website shows the commencement of the construction in April 2019. The expected completion date of the project is November, 2014.

What is Mohmand Dam Project?

Mohmand Dam is a proposed multi-purpose concrete-faced rock-filled dam located on the Swat River approximately 37 km north of Peshawar and 5 km upstream of Munda Headworks in Mohmand District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Once completed, the dam is expected to generate 740 MW of hydroelectricity, irrigate 15,100 acres of land and control floods downstream. It is expected to provide numerous estimated annual benefits including Rs. 4.98 billion in annual water storage benefits, Rs. 19.6 billion in power generation benefits by generating 2.4 billion units of electricity annually and Rs. 79 million in annual flood mitigation benefit.