DADU: The first concrete gravity dam in Sindh has been completed at Nai Baran near Jhangri village in Jamshoro district by a Chinese company and the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda).

A joint team of Chinese and Wapda dam engineers invited the media on Monday to visit the site.

Wapda Hyderabad general manager (water-south) Amir Bux Mirani told the media that the project had been completed within the stipulated period of three years.

According to the British Dam Society, it is called a ‘gravity dam’ because gravity holds it down to the ground stopping the water in the reservoir pushing it over.

Construction of Darwat Dam by Sinohydro Corporation Limited began on June 30, 2010 at an approved project cost of Rs9,300 million, he said. It has a live water storage capacity of 89,200 acre feet and dead water storage capacity of 32,400 acre feet, he added.

Gul Mohammad Junejo, the project director, said that this was a significant structure as it would irrigate 25,000 acres of barren land of the Kohistan area and additionally there would be round the clock water supply.

“It has one main canal with a water supply of 156 cusecs and three other distributaries with a water supply of 156 cusecs.

These canals and distributaries have a total length of 28 miles.

Jamshoro and Thatta are the two districts that will benefit from the dam with the main reservoir of the dam’s site located in Jamshoro district and the irrigation system in Thatta district.”

The project’s additional director Mohammad Iqbal Shaikh said that nearly all the canals and distributaries were ready except for one minor. “The residents of the area did not let us construct the minor because of a land acquisition issue.

The Wapda and Chinese engineers had approached the villagers and asked them to submit their documents for land compensation.

They were told they would be paid only after the verification of the land records by the revenue department.

However, the revenue officials of districts concerned said that the documents were fake whereas the villagers insisted they were genuine. Hence, the matter was stuck in a limbo.”

Miao Yu Liang, project manager of the Sinohydro Corporation, spoke about features of the concrete gravity dam. “The normal storage level of water in the dam was 112.55 metres, the highest flood level 119.86 metres and the top level 121 metres. Darwat Dam will store rainwater through Nai Baran river.

It was a challenging task for the engineers to construct a concrete gravity dam here. With a life span of 50 years, the dam has also been fitted with a parallel system to cleanse silt through large pipes.”

Mr Lixin, deputy manager of the firm, said that his team of engineers had completed the project despite a pending bill of Rs1.3 million.

When the additional director of Wapda was asked about the claim, he agreed that

the bill was pending and efforts were on to expedite the matter.

Mr Lixin said that according to the agreement, his firm was required to carry out repair and maintenance of Darwat Dam for two years.

Another official of the firm, Tian Zhao Jun said that cement grouting along with rocks was used throughout the site till the top level of the dam to control seepage.

Earlier, Wapda chairman Syed Raghib Abbas Shah visited dam and said: “This is an excellent achievement as the dam will enable us to get barren lands of Sindh irrigated.”

According to Wapda documents relating to the dam, the provincial government had decided to distribute state-owned lands around the dam site to 100 landless peasant women.

However, only 25 women have received the ownership rights (documents) of a total of 25 acres so far.

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