GWADAR: To meet the ongoing acute water shortage and electricity demands of Gwadar, the progress on several projects by Pakistan government and China is in full swing.

The government has launched five schemes to ensure the availability of clean water in Gwadar and to resolve the issue by mid of 2018.

Director General of the Gwadar Development Authority Dr Sajjad Hussain Baloch told APP on Sunday that with one sufficient rainfall, three dams namely Akra Kaur, Sawad and Shadi Kaur, can provide up to 10 million gallons per day (MGD) of water to Gwadar for next five years.

He mentioned that pipeline from Sawad dam to Gwadar city would bring five MGD besides 2.5 MGD each from the Shadikot dam and the already connected Akra dam.

He said due to drought at the moment, the dams were dried-up and to meet this challenge, simultaneously work was in progress on a water desalination plant.

He said under a Water Purchase Agreement, the Chinese side would provide 0.2 MGD desalinated water including supply of 10 MGD by mid June.

Dr Sajjad said for the five million gallons per day desalination plant, the government would fund 70 percent while 30 percent cost would be covered by the provincial government.

In case of emergency, availability of water would be ensured by supply from Mirani dam, he added.

To meet the electricity needs of Gwadar, he said three plans were underway keeping in view the heavy industrial activities in future.

He said a 300 mega watt power plant under CPEC had been approved which would work on IPP (Independent Power Producer) basis at the cost of Rs 600 million, to meet the demand of 40-45 MW as compared to the available 14-15 MW.

For the plant, PPIB has already issued a Letter of Intent for its commissioning in 2018.

Dr Sajjad said the government had signed an agreement with Iran for supply of 100 MW projects, on which eighty percent work was done by Iranian side and twenty percent was yet to be carried out by Pakistan.

He said Gwadar was not connected with national grid so far and captive power from Iran to Gwadar, Turbat and Panjgur districts was being provided.

The Prime Minister in this regard has approved connecting the missing link of Basima to Panjgur power line, which will connect Gwadar with national grid, he added.

Dr Sajjad said besides the industrial development of Gwadar, focus was also being laid on social sector.

He said the Gwadar Development Authority in collaboration with Pakistan Army’s health department had set up a 50-bed hospital providing services in paediatrics, gynecology and minor surgery.

Effort are on to include the hospital under CPEC to upgrade it to a 300-bed facility and will also include a medical college and nursing school, he added.

In first phase, China under an agreement will set-up 150 beds at a 12,000 square meters covered area and will also provide medical equipment.

The GDA has set up a school up-to 12th grade and in future, O and A level classes will be started.

He said negotiations are underway with China Foundation for Peace and Development for training of local fisherman that comprises 70 percent of population. Also, a fish harbour will be made on the Western side which will improve the living standard of locals.

About new Gwadar International Airport, the GDA Director General said it will be the biggest modern airport in South Asia spanned over 4,300 acres with landing facilities for A-380 aircraft.

He made it clear that the airport would be completed with the Chinese grant of Rs 22 billion and it was “not a loan at all”.—APP