September 13, 2013
Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif and US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson on Thursday jointly inaugurated Gomal Zam Dam and power house located in the South Waziristan Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Governor Khyber Pakhtun-khwa, Engineer Shaukatullah, Minister of State for Water and Power, Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali, Mission Director USAID, Gregory Gottleib, Chairman Wapda, Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, Director General FWO, members of Parliament and local notables were also present on the occasion.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided $45 million to complete the main dam and power house. Another amount of $40 million is also being provided by the USAID for completion of irrigation component of the project. The USAID has also committed $12 million for development of Waran Canal System. Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif said the project is of immense importance for socio-economic uplift of the populace of South Waziristan and KP. He thanked the US government for financial assistance to complete Gomal Zam Dam and the power house. He also appreciated Wapda and the contractor – FWO for completing dam and power house despite difficult working conditions in the project area. In his remarks on the occasion, Minister of State for Water and Power, Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali said that the government is exploring all available resources to overcome the energy crisis in the country.
He said that the focus of the Ministry of Water and Power remains on hydropower generation to produce low cost and environment friendly electricity to change the energy-mix which is heavily tilted in favour of thermal power. He said that in addition to ensuring completion of under construction hydropower projects on time, new hydropower projects are being initiated.
Addressing the ceremony, US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson said that the completion of the Gomal Zam Dam and the installation of a new transmission line are significant achievements. In partnership with Pakistan, we are working to boost power generation capacity and to ensure long term self-sufficiency of the power sector, he said. The ambassador also elaborated on the USAID””s energy portfolio in Pakistan. He said that the US government has worked with the Government of Pakistan to irrigate almost 243000 hectares of land throughout Pakistan since October 2009. He further said that with the energy provided by Gomal Zam Dam, the US has supported projects that, since 2009, have added 1000 MW to Pakistan””s electrical grid which is enough to provide electricity to more than 16 million people. Courtesy Business Recorder
Published in ZaraiMedia.com