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Wapda’s initiative for small and medium-sized dams

The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) is building small and medium-sized dams for optimum utilisation of water and land resources available in the country. These small and medium-sized dams are being constructed on the directions of President Zardari in the four provinces and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) for the socio-economic uplift of the people residing in these areas, said Wapda chairman Shakil Durrani during his visit to the Darawat dam project site. The dam is being constructed across Nai Baran in Thatta and Jamshoro districts some 70 km west of Hyderabad.

Speaking on the occasion, Durrani said: “small and medium-sized dams are vital for the prosperity of the remote areas, which are solely dependent on local water resources and cannot be irrigated with the Indus basin irrigation system.” He expressed the hope that the Darawat dam project would usher in a new era of development by providing water for irrigated agriculture, mitigating floods, providing job opportunities and reducing poverty in the area.

Earlier, Durrani visited the project site to observe construction work. Expressing satisfaction with the pace of work, he directed the officers concerned to complete the project according to the schedule.

During the visit, the chairman was briefed that the Darawat dam project would be completed at a total cost of about Rs 9.4 billion. The main dam of the project is likely to be completed by December this year, while completion of the irrigation system is scheduled for June 2013.

The concrete-faced, rock-filled dam is 820 feet long and 141 feet high, which would store about 120,000 feet of water to help irrigate 25,000 acres of land. The project will create 4,500 jobs during its construction, operation and maintenance.

Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at more than one billion rupees and the life of the projectÕs water reservoir will be more than 100 years.ÊThe federal government has announced that it will provide up to 25 acres of land per person to the poor women belonging to the project area.

Wapda has undertaken Naulong and Nai Gaj dam projects under the small and medium damsÕ scheme. Among others, the Wapda general manager (projects) south, project director, director small and medium dams, and representatives of the consultants and contractors were also present during the visit.

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