NOWSHERA – The cost of the under-construction Utla Dam project in the Gadoon Amazai area here has gone up from Rs1,500 million to Rs2,400 million because of the suspension of work over technical grounds for almost a year.
Sources in the communication and works department told Dawn on Sunday that this project would now cost Rs900 million more than the earlier estimated cost. They said all the funds for the project had been provided by the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments and work on it was now in full swing.
The dam is a drinking water project because the people of Gadoon Amazai mountainous belt usually face a shortage of water and the district administration has to arrange tankers to meet the need of the people.
Construction work remained suspended for a year over technical issues
The sources said that the project earlier scheduled to be completed in 2023 was now expected to take three more years.
They said that after the emergence of certain issues a second consultant was hired who rejected the claim of the first consultant and declared that there were no solid rocks at the bed of the dam.
The sources said that the circumstances forced the government officials to stop work for resolving the related technical issues first.
“To clear the confusion, the government told the officials of communication and works department to conduct another survey, which established that there were rocks in the dam bed,” said the sources quoting Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MPA Rangaiz Khan.
The sources said that the spillway design had also undergone a change, making it more workable and durable. They said that Mr Rangaiz and former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser were kept updated about the issues as the area fell in their constituency.
They said that after the claim of the second consultant, which delayed the project for almost a year, the construction activities on the dam were now in full swing.
They said that a road leading to the dam had been taken from Topi-Utla road. This road will make travel easy from Utla to the dam and also help the people to reach the scenic Mahaban Mountain.
(Source: National print and online media with input from social media and local sources).