Though the country is facing around 5,000MW electricity shortfall between demand and supply yet the Federal government has agreed to Punjab government’s proposal that no extra water should be released from the Mangla Dam on river Jhelum to augment power generation till the upgraded dam is filled to its capacity this year.
The power station of Mangla Dam consists of 10 units each having capacity of 100MW. Since the Federal government wants to generate maximum cheap hydel power it had asked Punjab and other provinces to ensure release and use of their water share from the concerned dams
It may be added that presently the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) is releasing only 15,000 cusecs water down stream the Mangla Dam for power generation and crops irrigation purposes and retaining maximum quantities of water in the dam which is to be filled up to 1242-ft level this year against the previous years level of 1202-ft. The Punjab government is meeting its irrigation water requirements from the water flows of river Chenab and its water share from the Indus Zone.
According to official sources on special instructions of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Provincial Minister for Irrigation Mian Yawar Zaman and Provincial Secretary Irrigation Captain Zahid Saeed (Retd) met Federal Minister for Water and Power Kh Muhammad Asif and apprised him of the discharge and utilisation of water share of Punjab from Mangla Dam.
Mian Yawar Zaman informed Khawaja Asif that Punjab is using its water share which is enough for its need and if Punjab takes more water then it will be wasted and water reserves for Punjab will also reduce in Mangla Dam. Zaman said if Punjab uses more water from Mangla dam then it will face shortage of water for the vital Rabi crops including wheat his year. He said that the desired quantity of water should be reserved in Mangla Dam so that it could be available for the next crop besides generation of hydel power. Federal government has agreed to the stance of Punjab government and allowed it to fill the dam to the maximum level, they added.