T4, Mangla protection dyke projects to be delayed
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.