ISLAMABAD, Dec 14 (APP): The United States Wednesday signed an agreement to provide $81 million (over Rs 8.5 billion) to the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) for the construction of Kurram Tangi Dam Project, Stage-I (the Kaitu Weir) in North Waziristan Agency of FATA.
The agreement was signed between the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) and WAPDA at a ceremony held here at a local hotel.
Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif was the chief guest on the occasion. American Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale
and Chairman WAPDA Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (R) attended the ceremony among others.
Addressing the ceremony, Khawaja Asif said the USAID grant of $81 million for Kurram Tangi Dam Project Stage-I was another milestone in the United States civilian-assistance programme aiming the development of Pakistan as prosperous country.
He said the project would go a long way in bringing about socio-economic development to the far-flung areas of North Waziristan Agency and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Referring to the increasing need of water and electricity in the country, he said the present government had taken up the challenge of harnessing water and hydropower resources in an upfront manner.
Ambassador Hale in his remarks said, “America and Pakistan have a long history of cooperation in the energy sector.”
“The agreement signed today builds on decades of shared effort
to meet Pakistan’s energy needs and help to improve the lives of
millions of Pakistanis,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman WAPDA Lt Gen Muzzamil Hussain (R) thanked the US government and the USAID for supporting Pakistan and WAPDA for sustainable development of water and hydropower sectors.
He said Kurram Tangi Dam Project would be constructed in two stages with gross water storage capacity of 1.2 MAF and electricity generation capacity of 83.4 MW.
He said the construction work on Stage-II of the project would also be started soon.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Kaitu Weir was Stage I of
the larger Kurram Tangi Dam Project. By completing the construction
of the project’s stage-I, more than 16,000 acres of agricultural
land would be irrigated and an additional 18 MW of electricity would
be produced, enough to benefit 100,000 Pakistanis.
Under Kurram Tangi Dam Project Stage-I, funds would be transferred to WAPDA to support the construction of a weir on Kaitu River, the Shertalla and Spairaga canals, two powerhouses, a transmission line, housing accommodations for construction and operational staff, and an office building for dam construction and operation activities.
Since 2009, the United States government has invested more than 53.1 billion rupees to develop Pakistan’s power sector, benefitting more than 28 million Pakistanis and adding more than 2,400 MW of electricity to the national grid.
This total included 1,013 MW from new or rehabilitated dams and thermal power plants, and 1,447 MW from improvements in the transmission and distribution system.