August 07, 2013
Our Staff Reporter
LAHORE - Water in the raised Mangla Dam has reached a historic level of 1213 feet above mean sea level for the first time in history. With this record level, present live storage in the Mangla water reservoir increased to 5.21 million acre feet (MAF), stated Wapda on Tuesday.
“Filling of additional water in the raised Mangla Dam reflects the government’s commitment to conservation and optimum utilisation of the precious yet scarce resource of water for agro-based economy of the country. The Mangla lake attained the maximum level of 1210 feet two years back in 2011,” according to Wapda. Consequent upon raise in its height by another 30 feet, the Mangla Dam has become the largest water storage facility in the country with live storage capacity of 7.392 MAF, leaving behind Tarbela Dam, which has a live storage capacity of 6.581 MAF.
The Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, the Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and the Wapda mutually decided last month to fill the raised Mangla Dam this year up to its maximum level i.e. 1242 feet, as the Federal Government had promised to pay off the financial liabilities of the affectees of the project for the purpose. On the directions of the Federal Minister and Minister of State for Water and Power, a safe evacuation plan for affectees has been prepared by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs, AJK Government and WAPDA. The evacuation plan was being implemented amicably, Wapda spokesperson added.
Filling of the Mangla reservoir up to its maximum level would help store 2.88 million acre feet (MAF) of additional water and generate about 110 megawatt (MW) additional electricity from the existing Mangla Power House. Additional benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs.18 billion per annum.
A hefty amount of Rs.70 billion has been spent on compensation and resettlement works. Resettlement works include construction of New Mirpur City and four satellite towns having all civic amenities of the modern life, Mirpur by-pass, Dhan Gali Bridge across River Jhelum and New Bong Canal Bridge.