In a landmark development, water raised in Mangla Dam on Tuesday has reached a historic level of 1,213 feet above mean sea level for the first time. With this record level, present live storage in the Mangla water reservoir on Tuesday has increased to 5.21 million acre feet (MAF). Filling of additional water in the raised Mangla Dam reflects the Federal Government’s commitment to conservation and optimum utilisation of the precious yet scarce resource of water for agro-based economy of the country.
Previously, Mangla lake attained the maximum level of 1,210 feet two years back in 2011. 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.
It is pertinent to mention that the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, the Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) mutually decided last month to fill the raised Mangla Dam this year upto its maximum level ie 1242 feet, as the federal government had promised to pay off the financial liabilities of the affected 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 affected has been prepared by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs, AJK Government and Wapda. The evacuation plan is being implemented amicably.
Filling of the Mangla reservoir upto its maximum level will 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. It is worth mentioning that 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.