LAHORE – Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has planned to build two dams in the Awaran and Kharan districts of Balochistan with the help of the small contractors of the same districts, it has been learnt.
The Wapda invited tenders for the projects – Pelar and Garuk dams – twice a year in 2009 and four times in 2010, but there was no response due to law and order situation in the area. In view of the dams’ significance for the locals, Wapda Chairman Shakil Durrani proposed that the Authority would execute both projects through small contractors of the same districts, an official told The Nation. Pelar dam project site is located about 160 kilometers from Awaran Town in Awaran district, while Garuk dam project is to be constructed some 47 kilometers south-east of Kharan Town in Kharan district. The two districts are known to be the most under-developed districts of the country.
Pelar and Garuk dams are amongst those five small and medium-sized dams which Wapda has planned to build in Balochistan. The other three projects are Naulong dam in Jhal Magsi and Hingol and Winder dams in Lasbela.
These five projects will store 1.8 million acre feet of water to irrigate 316,000 acres virgin cropped area through high efficiency irrigation system. In addition, 6.3MW hydel electricity will also be generated to meet the requirement of the local populace. More than 17,000 job opportunities will be created during construction phase, while about 700 during operation of the projects.
The official was of the view that construction of the two projects would usher in a new era of progress for the locals, as these projects would help to develop cumulative cropped area of 42,000 acres with high efficiency irrigation system.
“The projects will also generate low-cost hydel electricity. Besides this, about 1400 job opportunities will be created during construction and operation of the projects,” the official informed.
The Wapda is all set to depute a strong team of its engineers and consultants for technical and logistic supports in execution of the projects.
Construction of the projects will be carried out by bifurcating the works into small components and awarding them to the local contractors.
This will not only help complete the projects on one hand, but also develop skills of the local contractors to participate in bigger projects in the country in future. Government of Pakistan, Government of Balochistan and donor agencies will equally share the project cost.