Wapda, Chinese firm sign contract for building housing colony

LAHORE: Government on Tuesday contracted a Chinese company to build a housing colony for the residents displaced because of the construction of Dasu hydropower project and a museum at the cost of Rs571.95 million.

A statement said the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) signed the contract with the China Railway First Group (CRFG) for the construction of resettlement sites and Shatial museum – the components of Dasu hydropower project.

The statement said the contract includes construction of three sites for the resettlement of the project affectees, belonging to Choochang village, and development of an open-air museum at archeological site of Shatial – 60 kilometres west of Chilas in Gilgit Baltistan – to conserve pre-historic rock carvings. The contract is scheduled to be completed in one and a half years.

General Manager Haji Muhammad Farooq Ahmed at Dasu hydropower project and Deputy Director Zhang Yong at CRFG signed the agreement on behalf of their organisations in a ceremony held at Wapda House.

Chairman Zafar Mahmood at Wapda, Member (Water) Muhammad Shoaib Iqbal, Member (Power) Badr-ul-Munir Murtiza, Member (Finance) Anwar-ul-Haq, Managing Director (Administration) Muhammad Ashraf Khan, Secretary WAPDA Amer Ahmad, senior WAPDA officers and representatives of the project consultants and the contractor participated in the ceremony.

The federal government is implementing Dasu hydropower project in two stages.

The World Bank is financing stage-I of the project with an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $588.4 million and an IDA partial credit guarantee of $460 million.

The work on 2,160-megawatt stage-I is scheduled to be completed in five years and will contribute more than 12 billion units of cheap, affordable and environment-friendly electricity to the national grid every year.

“The project will add a sizeable quantum of low-cost electricity to the national grid as well as provide relief to the consumers by reducing power tariff,” Wapda said.

“The project will usher in a new era of socio-economic development in the far-flung areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

Wapda Chairman Mahmood said Dasu hydropower project is of immense importance to cope with electricity shortages in the country.

He urged the contractor to complete the works within cost and stipulated time and in accordance with the quality standards laid down for the purpose.

CRFG representative assured Wapda of meeting timelines and best quality requirements in the project implementation.

Dasu Hydropower Project General Manager, briefing the authority about progress on the project, said the contractors of four contracts, which were awarded earlier, are constructing 132-KV transmission line from Duber Khwar Hydel Power Station to Dasu project site, relocating Karakoram Highway and constructing the right bank access road and project colony.

Mahmood directed the project authorities to expedite construction work on transmission line to meet the timelines of the contract.

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