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Gomal Zam Dam inaugurated in South Waziristan

Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that the government is working day and night to overcome electricity shortfall.

Inaugurating Gomal Zam Dam in South Waziristan‚ he said the project completed at a cost of 22 billion rupees‚ will produce 17.4 megawatt electricity. He said the project will cultivate thousands acres of barren land.

U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, State Minister Abid Sher Ali and WAPDA Chairman Syed Raghib Shah inaugurated the Dam.

Governor Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Engineer Shaukatullah was also present on the occasion.

Governor Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Engineer Shaukatullah and US Ambassador Richard Olson were also present on the occasion.

Khawaja Asif said the government will overcome power shortage before the next elections. He said modern technology and smart meters will be introduced to overcome power pilferage.

To a question‚ Khawaja Asif said 2500 megawatt electricity can be saved through early closures of markets. He said increase of water in Mangla Dam will help enhance electricity generation.

According to a statement issued by US Embassy in Islamabad, the dam will boost the region’s electricity supply, irrigate farmlands, and protect the South Waziristan area from seasonal flooding.

“The completion of the Gomal Zam dam hydropower station and the installation of a new transmission line are significant achievements,” said Ambassador Olson during the visit. “In partnership with Pakistan, we are working to boost power generation capacity and to ensure long-term self-sufficiency of the power sector.”

The U.S. government contributed a total of $97 million via the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) to complete the Gomal Zam dam multipurpose project. Located in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas, this dam supplies electricity to more than 270,000 people, prevents life-threatening flash floods, and creates water storage for households and farmers in the area.

Gomal Zam now stores over 140,000 hectare-meters of water, which will help to prevent seasonal flooding in areas of D.I. Khan and Tank that have been prone to flash floods. The dam will also supply irrigation water for around 77,000 hectares of farmland, which will create job opportunities and increase the incomes of an estimated 30,000 farming families in the region.

Federal Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif added, “We value the support of the U.S. government and the American people. We look forward to continued cooperation in the future.”

In total, the U.S. government has worked with the Government of Pakistan to irrigate almost 243,000 hectares of land throughout Pakistan since October 2009. Also, with the energy provided by Gomal Zam dam, the United States has supported projects that since 2009 have added 1000 megawatts to Pakistan’s electrical grid – enough to provide electricity to more than 16 million people.

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