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    Overhauling of power transmission system, new dams imperative to address country’s economic, water woes

    Overhauling of power transmission system, new dams imperative to address country’s economic, water woes

    PESHAWAR : The recent countrywide electricity breakdown that adversely affected industrial and domestic consumers in all provinces including KP, have necessitated complete overhauling of the power distribution and transmission system and expediting work on under-construction dams projects to address the country’s economic and water woes.

    As the summer was approaching fast with a possibility of exerting extra-load on the national transmission system including of the power distribution companies and PESCO, there was a need to strengthen power distribution and transmission system in all provinces including KP besides accelerating work on Mohmand, Diamir  Bhasha and Kurram Tangi and other water reservoirs to avoid the Tuesday’s like power breakdown incident in future.

    “The recent electricity fault should be an eye-opener for all of us. It reflects that our electricity transmission and generation system  was overloaded and required huge investment after the former PTI government failed to upgrade the system,’” said Wajid Ali Khan, former Minister and ANP leader while talking to APP on Thursday.

    He said the power transmission lines and infrastructure including electricity poles affected by the floods in flood hit areas especially in northern districts of KP including Swat and Kohistan required special attention of the government.

     Wajid claimed that the former PTI government has neither addressed the problem of illegal power connections in Khyber Pakthunkhwa nor completed the long awaited Mohmand dam project, resulting in prolonged power outages in the province today.

    He claimed that over 100 mini micro hydel power stations constructed by the former PTI government with the help of NGOs in northern KP were either destroyed or damaged by the last year summer floods due to its ill planning and wrong selection of sites, thus wasting huge financial resources. As a result, he said the energy import bill had swelled to $27 billion, causing negative effects on the national economy and industrial production.

    Ikhtair Wali Khan, PMLN KP spokesman said the recent countrywide electricity breakdown has testified that our power distribution and transmission system needed complete overhauling for which great responsibilities rest on the NTDC (national transmission and distribution company) to bring significant improvement in it.

    Highly appreciating the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) and Wapda for quickly fixing the technical faults apparently developed due to delay in synchronization between Tarbela and Mangla power plants on Monday last said that power supply has been completely restored across the country including KP.

    Besides laying foundation of many grid stations and transmission systems worth Rs 80 billion in the last few months by the present elected government, he said that the foundation of a mega grid station in Mansehra would soon be laid to ensure smooth transmission of electricity generated through Diamer Basha and other such mega projects to KP especially to Hazara division.

    “Had former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif not launched projects of power generation and transmission besides laid foundations of nuclear power plants K-2 and K-3 in Karachi and HVDC Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line, the country would have been plunged into complete darkness today.”

    Meanwhile, Wapda’s authorities here told APP that work on Mohmand dam was restarted after the last year’s flood devastation and its diversion system would likely be completed by the end of this year.

    “Most of its damages caused to the diversion system by last year’s flood in last summer, were repaired and presently construction work was underway on all 11 sites of the project,” the official said.

    He said Mohmand dam was a multi-purpose project that on completion due in 2026 would store 1.2 MAF of water, generate 800MW electricity and help mitigate floods in Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera.

    Besides supplementing 160,000 acres of existing land, Mohmand dam would irrigate 18,237 acres of new land in Mohmand and Charsadda, contribute 2.86 billion units of low-cost and environment friendly hydel electricity per annum to the national grid and provide 300 million gallons water per day to Peshawar for drinking purpose. “The project annual estimated benefits are estimated to be about Rs51.6 billion while Rs4.5 billion were allocated for confidence building measures (CBM) in the project area for socio-economic development of local population.

     To curb illegal power connections, he said the Aerial Bundled Cable (ABC) project has been approved for high line loss feeders of Peshawar, Bannu and Khyber districts where work was started.

    Ikhtair Wali said work on construction on high voltage direct current (HVDC) convertor station was underway at tehsil Azakhel Bala in Nowshera district under CASA-1000 Project for transmission of 1300 megawatt environment friendly electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan via Afghanistan to Pakistan.

    HVDC converter station Nowshera would be linked by an HVDC transmission line to efficiently transmit electricity from hydropower-rich Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan via Afghanistan and onward to Pakistan via Torkhum, he said, adding foundation stone of a 500kV HVAC grid station has already been laid at Nowshera.

    Wapda officials said about eighty percent work on multi faceted Kurram Tangi dam Project’s Stage-I, being constructed in North Waziristan tribal district was completed and the remaining work to be completed by end of this year. On March 3, 2017, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had laid the foundation stone of Kurram Tangi dam in North Waziristan.

    Kurram Tangi dam was being implemented in two stages by Wapda and construction work at weir (dam) has been completed while Spira Ragha  and Sphira Tala canals were almost built under stage-I. On completion, Kurram Tangi dam with a total capacity of 83. 4 MW, would help control floodwater and irrigate barren 35,000-acre land besides storing 1.2MAF water.

    The PC-I of Shakotai dam in South Waziristan has been approved and would be completed with an estimated cost of Rs2.1 billion in three years besides a potential to irrigate 5,757 acre land in the tribal district.(APP)

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