|Chiniot Dam Project given go-ahead|
02 January 2009
JHANG: The Chiniot Dam Project, on the River Chenab, between Chiniot and Chenab Nagar, will be completed at a cost of Rs24 billion, a senior provincial minister was told here on Thursday.
Senior Minister Raja Riaz Ahmad was told during a briefing at Old Bridge that the dam would generate 60 megawatt hydropower and stock up water for irrigation. It would provide water for cultivation of 264,000 tons of wheat. Its construction was likely to start in the beginning of next fiscal year.
Wapda General Manager (Planning) Dr Siddique said at the briefing that the planned dam would have a barrage capacity of 1 million cusecs and storage capacity of 1.29 million acre feet. The total length of the dykes would be 44 miles and their height would be 39 feet. The environmental and rehabilitation cost had been estimated at Rs5.2 billion and Rs5.1 billion would be spent on a power house.
He said the construction of dam would result in availability of water valuing Rs2.92 billion and hydropower worth Rs0.92 billion. The PC-II of the feasibility study had been completed for submission to the federal government. Irrigation experts said the flood protection embankment up to Pindi Bhattian would be fortified.
Raja Riaz, while talking to the media, said the government wanted to construct a storage dam on the River Chenab at Marala in Sialkot to save Chenab water for irrigation. He said the Irrigation Department was implementing a strategy for maintenance and improvement of colossal canal assets and setting up new hydel and hydro power projects at canal and barrage sites.
Earlier, the senior minister and Wapda Chairman Shakeel Durrani inspected the dam site and sought information from experts about technical aspects of the project.
Expressing their concerns at the planned dam, National Assembly Member from Chiniot Anayat Ali Shah and Pakistan People’s Party representative Qazi Ali Hassan said a large area of highly fertile farm land would be affected by water logging and salinity caused by the pond area of the project, hundreds of villages would be wiped out and more than 100,000 people would be displaced.
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