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    March  17,  2016



Consultants recommends to merge the irrigation tunnel of Mulkhow with hydro power project

By Zahiruddin

CHITRAL: The consultant firm engaged by the irrigation department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the feasibility study of an irrigation channel scheme in Mulkhow union council of upper Chitral has firmly recommended to merge its tunnel with that of an isolated hydro power project and termed it cost effective as well as more productive for power generation.

As per report submitted by the consultant firm (copy available with Chitral Times ), during the course of survey and investigation for the feasibility study of drawing water from the right side of Terich river, it proposed a 5.8 Km long tunnel to bring under cultivation 15140 acres of arid land under cultivation.

The report, at the same time, proposed that it has a fair degree of possibility of merging with the tunnel of a hydro power project of 145 mega watt (MW) drawing water from the same source of the irrigation project due to their proximity and presence of a number of technical parameters.

The feasibility study of the power project titled Shushgal-Zandoli HPP has been completed by the Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) many years ago for which a tunnel of 8.5 Km length was proposed.

The report proposed the merger of the site of power project with the tunnel of the irrigation project at its take-off point to cut short its length by 2.7 Kms as its length from its take-point is 8.5 Km while its power generation capacity will increase to 2000 MW from its present capacity of 145 MW due to the rising of its head.
“The inlet and outlet of both tunnels have similar access and similar escapes to the Torkhow River and by merging the projects one weir and tunnel would be required instead of two”, goes the report adding that on merging the projects, anticipated construction and operation and maintenance expenditures will be reduced by more than half.

The report also negates any retarding effect of catchment area on hydrology as no perennial stream existed between the weir sites of both the projects and the structure of the earth crust was highly stable in nature to support it.

A source in the irrigation department said that the merger of the two projects will save billions of rupees on one hand and will also cut short its completion period of the largest hydro-power project of the district.

The MPA from upper Chitral, Syed Sardar Hussain Shah said that the idea of merging the tunnels of the two projects was marvelous and termed it ‘killing two birds with one stone’.

He said that he will take up the proposal of merging the projects with the government which was quite possible as both the projects pertained to the departments provincial government.



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