T4, Mangla pro­tec­tion dyke projects to be de­layed

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

AB­DUL KHALIQ QURESHI ABBOTTABAD—The con­struc­tion work­ing plan es­pe­cially on the two key wa­ter projects of 410 megawatts (MW) Tar­bela 4th Ex­ten­sion (T4) and Mangla pro­tec­tion dyke to­gether has come to stop its on­ward work, en­dan­ger­ing com­ple­tion of the hy­dropower projects by the dead­line of 2017 and caus­ing fear to­gether with scores of prob­lems in the loom­ing flood sea­son, of­fi­cial sources con­firmed Sun­day.

How­ever, the key stake­hold­ers known as the min­istry of WAPDA, and the In­dus River Sys­tem Au­thor­ity (IRSA) have unan­i­mously kept them­selves to en­gaged in meet­ings to tackle with the as­ton­ish­ing sit­u­a­tion to avoid forth­com­ing cri­sis, the con­trac­tors at both the crit­i­cal projects have de­mo­bi­lized men and ma­chin­ery abruptly.

Fol­low­ing to an of­fi­cial re­port, both the min­istry in­clud­ing WAPDA were caught off guard as un­pre­pared­ness cou­pled with nat­u­ral events have changed the sit­u­a­tion from top to bot­tom.

Tar­bela ex­ten­sion was one of the key projects the govern­ment was bank­ing on to re­duce power short­age with its sched­ule of gen­er­at­ing electricity by June next year unto the door step of all the con­sumers re­lat­ing to it.

In ad­di­tion, on the con­tention of WAPDA au­thor­i­ties, the ISRA ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee de­cided in pre­vi­ous month of March not to fill the dam be­yond 1,490 feet till July 15 against its max­i­mum ca­pac­ity of 1,550 feet to en­able a stream­lin­ing con­struc­tion of the T4 tun­nel.

Any­how, the WAPDA was re­quired un­der the de­ci­sion to en­sure a 1,514-foot cof­fer bund to fa­cil­i­tate the tun­nel’s con­struc­tion on pro­posed site. It was noted that the cof­fer dam’s strength to the level of 1.485 feet was up to the mark but was be­low stan­dard be­yond the se­lected sci­en­tific level.

Mean­while, tem­per­a­tures rose in the Skardu catch­ments above 34 de­gree Cel­sius and river flows in­creased be­yond es­ti­mates by about 22 per cent. That’s why the, WAPDA au­thor­i­ties at Tar­bela Dam re­quested that filling be kept be­low 1,482 feet in­stead of 1,490 feet ap­proved by IRSA to avoid ex­pected fear­ful dam­age to the tun­nel con­cerned.

Mean­while, the of­fi­cial source told that ac­cord­ing to sources, the WAPDA au­thor­i­ties had also re­ported to the govern­ment that it had con­structed a cof­fer dam to en­sure con­struc­tion of pro­tec­tion dam at Khaliqabad that was drowned last year. How­ever, it later tran­spired es­pe­cially that the cof­fer dam level was not on its proper line with the project dis­claimers.

The con­trac­tor who sup­plies stone for the pro­tec­tion bound­ary wall pitch­ing, has also sus­pended work fol­low­ing a Supreme Court or­der ban­ning stone crush­ing and excavation from Mar­galla Hills.

The power min­istry has re­ported that the con­trac­tor will now start sup­ply­ing stone from a new place near Rawat but that will take fur­ther time to pick up the stip­u­lated pace mar­gin, the of­fi­cial source con­firmed.

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