Tarbela Dam near Haripur

Tarbela Dam near Haripur
Tarbela Dam near Haripur

Technicians inside one of the twelve huge turbines run by the Tarbela dam

Technicians inside one of the twelve huge turbines run by the Tarbela dam, producing hydroelectric power.
Technicians inside one of the twelve huge turbines run by the Tarbela dam, producing hydroelectric power.


Tehreek-e-Hazara displays signboards ‘Welcome Hazara Province at Hazara Borders

TARBELA GHAZI – Hazara Action Committee on Sunday displayed the signboards of “Welcome Hazara Province” on Punjab-Hazara borders at Ghazi-Tarbela and Tareen Abad, Haripur and also have also threatened the government that if they would not change the status of Hazara at separate province then the electricity from Tarbela Dam will be cut off.

On the occasion, Chairman Tehreek-e-Hazara Province (THP) Baba Haider Zaman while addressing a big rally said that the government, which does not care about or respect the wishes of the people cannot last for a long time and has no right to rule.

The rally was participated by dozens of leaders belonging to various political parties. Haider Zaman said that Hazarities, unlike ANP, wanted their separate province on the administrative basis and not on the basis of language so that people might be able to get relief. Baba Haider Zaman asked if Kala Bagh Dam was controversial, changing name of NWFP was also controversial and if name could be changed why Kala Bagh Dam could not be constructed.

Zaman said that the procession was to mobilise people and create awareness among them regarding the Hazara province. He said after the generation of awareness and mobilization of people he along with hundreds and thousands of people would march towards Islamabad and then the government would have no other option than announcing Hazara as province. However, he said it would be better option for the government to realise the demand of people of Hazara and establish Hazara before the people came out of their houses and march on Islamabad.

Former Speaker National Assembly Gohar Ayub Khan, former Deputy Speaker National Assembly Sardar Yaqoob, former federal Minister Aman ullah Khan Jadoon, former State Minister Omer Ayub Khan, Yousuf Ayub Khan, MPA Qalandar Lodhi, Zargul, former MPA Faisal Zaman, Nisar Safdar, Ghulam Nabi Advocate, Azhar Jadoon, Qazi Azhar, Haji Khushi Muhammad Awan, Firdoss Khan, Iqbal Tariq Advocate, Dr Afzal, Dr Fida, Naseer Jadoon, Junaid Qasim, Akhtar Nawaz, Raja Kamran, Gulzar Abbasi and many others strictly criticized MPL-N and termed it “Nehru League” and follower of Gandhi.

They said that in 1947 people of Hazara casted vote in the favour of Pakistan in referendum whereas ANP opposed to be inducted Hazara in Pakistan. They said that PML-N for the sake of 3rd time premiership for Nawaz Sharif, stood with the ANP for the change of the name of NWFP as Khyber Pakhtunkhawa.

They said that Nawaz Sharif was elected twice from Hazara despite being an outsider but he stabbed in the back of Hazaraties. They said that due to the selfish action of Nawaz Sharif, people of Hazara disinherited him and “now he even cannot come to Hazara.” They said that people of Hazara always scarified for the interests of the country and two big dams Tarbela Dam and Ghazi Barotha Project were constructed in Hazara but constantly people of Hazara were being ignored. They said that 18th Amendment benefited only three persons President Zardari, Asfandyar Wali and Nawaz Sharif whereas there was nothing for the common people in that amendment. Baba Haider Zaman said that Hazara province was a dream of the people of Hazara, which was about to be realized very soon.

WAPDA Cadet College Tarbela

WAPDA Cadet College Tarbela is a Cadet College of Pakistan under the management of Water and Power Development Authority.


The present WAPDA policy unjustly deprives its teaching staff of the benefits that teachers of the same grade and experience enjoy in other federal institutions. Sometimes even after 25 to 30 years service they retire without promotions and thus are unjustly denied opportunities for career advancement

The slow death of governance and consistent hammering in of nails in the coffin of good governance has not been accidental or unbeknownst to those invested the responsibility of ensuring prospering of institutions. It is the result of their follies; for them pursuit of their narrow interests was supreme. They did not care as long as they got absolute power. The crumbling away of governance has resulted in different institutions and organisations of state vying and jostling for position. The struggle between the executive and the judiciary and the rivalry between the police and rangers is a manifestation of this decay.

This decay is also manifestly apparent in autonomous bodies like WAPDA, PSM, PIA, PSO, etc., which though enjoying monopoly and financial support have performed miserably because they have been run as fiefdoms by crony appointees who only had their mentors to please.

WAPDA is an autonomous body that [mis]manages power generation and water resources. It is inefficient, unwieldy and arrogant and has failed in its obligations and duties. It also has an Education Wing that runs 46 schools, two Degree Colleges and one Cadet College at Tarbela.

Some teachers of WAPDA requested me to highlight their problems, as they are victims of the discriminatory and inequitable attitude of WAPDA. The headmasters and Trained Graduate Teachers (TGT) (Selection Grades) have been unsuccessfully demanding implementation of the 1991 four-tier formula so that their pay scales are similar to schools under federal government aegis.

The four-tier formula, i.e. 1:15:34:50, represents the percentage of promotions allocated for teachers and heads of institutions. The promotion for the head of institutions will be 1 percent in BPS-20 grade, 15 percent in BPS-19 grade, 34 percent in BPS-18 grade and 50 percent in BPS-17 grade. Secondly, a TGT (BPS-16) will benefit in terms of promotion till BPS-19 and if even not promoted to higher grade will get financial benefits due to consistent rise in pay scale as per rules.

The present WAPDA policy unjustly deprives its teaching staff of the benefits that teachers of the same grade and experience enjoy in other federal institutions. Sometimes even after 25 to 30 years service they retire without promotions and thus are unjustly denied opportunities for career advancement. This policy is extremely discriminatory towards them.

Recently, the teachers, in a letter with copies to the president, the prime minister, the minister for water and power and to Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali, the chairman of the Standing Committee on Education in the National Assembly, appealed to chairman Shakeel Durrani that as a federal institution WAPDA was under obligation to implement the 1991 four-tier formula. They contended that its implementation would remove their long-standing grievances and promote a better teaching and learning environment.

They pointed out that the chairman WAPDA had generously awarded allowances of Rs 10,000 to degree holders of engineers and the accounts and audit staff while the security staff were given risk allowance, but no such generosity was forthcoming for the teachers.

Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali forwarded the letter on November 10, 2009, to WAPDA with a request that necessary action be taken and his office intimated. He was informed that the four-tier formula was considered but regretted (sic) vide office order number DIR (EDU)/636/2243 dated 10/10/2007, its copy was enclosed for his perusal.

This document states that WAPDA is a corporate body empowered to frame its own service rules. It says the four-tier formula was examined thoroughly before rejection. That their educational institutions are in remote areas where education department facilities do not exist and theirs was a welfare measure for children of WAPDA employees. It claims that the interests of the teaching staff are protected; therefore, the four-tier formula is superfluous. That is the end of the story for them and for all they care the teachers may go to the heavens.

Their claim that theirs is a welfare measure for WAPDA employees’ children residing in remote areas is patently false as cities like Hyderabad and Faisalabad have WAPDA schools. Lahore has three that are affiliated to BISE and the affiliation condition number 8 of 2007 vide 2223 dated August 10, 2006 code numbered 22129 binds WAPDA to adoption of the prevalent pay scale.

The governor Punjab directive (SO) (S111), 16-02-2007 on September 24, 2007 directed that 50 percent of teachers working in BPS-16 be promoted to BPS-17, 35 percent BPS-17 teachers be promoted to BPS-18, 15 percent be uplifted to the higher scale and the SST BPS-16 teachers be given a special allowance. WAPDA refused to comply without any reason. The prime minister’s advisor on education asked them to abide by the directive but was ignored.

A letter to the chief justice, which has appeared on a few blogs as well, has been sent on behalf of the WAPDA employees, parents, teachers, students, asking for correction of anomalies in the WAPDA education wing. The letter states that people from the administration who have no experience of academic matters are managing the education directorate at WAPDA House Lahore. It also states that similarly the Cadet College at Tarbela is being run in absentia by a retired brigadier who has no academic experience. They demand appointment of educationists from WAPDA on both posts and seek the chief justice’s intervention in the matter.

WAPDA emulates functionaries who disregard rules with impunity. In 2007, a news item said that the Audit Report 2000-01 revealed that Pakistan Post suffered a loss of Rs 14,309.9 million under its former director-general, a retired brigadier, Agha Masudul Hassan, and despite massive losses, he refused audit whenever teams of the auditor-general approached the postal department. He had on his own declared the post office an autonomous body and refused to obey any government rules and principles. This is exactly how WAPDA is acting to avoid fulfilling its obligations to its unjustly deprived teachers.

The teachers of WAPDA institutions are victims of wilful discrimination and for the sake of the welfare of WAPDA institutions’ teachers and their families and better education of the WAPDA employees’ children, their demand for the four-tier formula should be immediately met and all their grievances redressed. They are unjustly being deprived of their rightful benefits. I have written this piece hoping against hope that someone will notice the plight of WAPDA institutions’ teachers and redress the same as this injustice has continued long enough and needs to be remedied urgently.

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s.

Dozens of villages at risk of flooding

GHAZI: Dozens of villages in three districts risked being washed away in case of a sudden breach in Hunza lake formed by a landslide at Atta Abad in Hunza Nagar, information gathered by this scribe revealed. A huge lake had been created after a landslide fell in River Hunza last January, where water is increasing with each passing day.

Presently, the lake is 21 kilometres long and 330 feet deep, posing a potential threat to a number of villages and towns in the low-lying areas in Haripur and Swabi districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Attock in Punjab if the water level rose further and caused flooding.

“The Tarbela Dam has the capacity to store only two feet water of flood current in case the lake bursts its banks in June, July or August. Storing water more than two feet in the 97 kilometres long and 450 feet deep Tarbela Dam would be dangerous,” a source confided to The News.

A number of villages including Galla, Batakara, Ponthia and Gar in Swabi and Ghazi, Khalo, Issa, Jullo, Bhai, Jammu and Mian Dherai in Haripur and Mominpur to Khairabad in Attock district are at high risk. The residents in the low-lying villages near the Tarbela Dam have urged the government to take prompt steps for their protection prior to a breach in Hunza Lake.

Ghazi-Barotha Hydropower

1450 MW Ghazi-Barotha Hydropower Project - Picture#1
NESPAK, as lead firm of the joint venture for the Ghazi-Barotha Hydropower Project, undertook feasibility studies, designs and preparation of tender documents, and is now providing construction supervision for the project.

1450 MW Ghazi-Barotha Hydropower Project - Picture#2

1450 MW Ghazi-Barotha Hydropower Project - Picture#3

Tarbela Hydropower Extension Project
NESPAK - C.T. Main joint venture for Tarbela Hydropower Third

Extension Project undertook detailed design, preparation of tender documents and construction supervision for Units 11-14 . The project was designed to generate 1,728 MW on Tunnel-3 enhancing total capacity of the power house to 3,478 MW.

Tarbela Dam

Tarbela Dam

Consequent to the Indus Basin Water Treaty, concluded between India and Pakistan, two major water reservoirs were planned to be constructed in Pakistan to store water mainly for irrigation (to make up for the shortfall of water due to water sharing formula agreed vide the treaty); one of these was o be built on River Jhelm at Mangla and the other on River Indus near the small town of Tarbela. Construction for the dam began in 1968, and continued until completion in 1976. The dam has a volume of 138,600,000 cubic yards (106,000,000 m³). With a reservoir capacity of 11,098,000 acre-feet (13.69 km³), the dam is 469 feet (143 m) high and 8,997 feet (2,743 m) wide at its crest and stands 147 meters above the Indus riverbed.. It helps to maintain the flow of the Indus during seasonal fluctuations. The dam cost in 1976 was Rs.18.5 billion. Its reservoir is 97 km long with a depth of 137 meters while total area of the lake is 260 square kilometers. From the initial storage capacity of 11.62 MAF in 1974, it has now reduced to 5.51 MAF in 2005 (i.e. 47% of initial capacity) due to silting.

Tarbela is considered as the largest earth-filled dam on one of the world's most important rivers - the Indus. The dam was completed in 1976 at a cost of Rs.18.5 billion. It is the biggest hydel power station in Pakistan having a capacity of generating 3,478 MW of electricity. It provides nearly 30 percent of all the irrigation water available in dry season, 2100 MW of hydropower was to be initially generated as a by-product. By the year 1992, the generating capacity was raised to 3428 MW, with the 3rd extension comprising four more units of 432 MW capacity each. Read More ...

Discharge of water from the Tarbela power generation tunnels

As with the construction of large dams, while the problem of storing water has been achieved for agricultural use in Pakistan, there have been environmental consequences to the Indus river delta. Reduction of seasonal flooding and reduced water flows to the delta have decreased mangrove stands and the abundance of some fish species.

The dam has been plagued with problems ever since 1974 when the reservoir impoundment began. Two of the four tunnels being used to control the rate of filling were damaged and forced to close. Within a week, one of the two remaining active tunnels also collapsed, bringing down nearly half a million cubic metres of concrete and rock. The reservoir had to be emptied immediately to avoid a disaster. Engineers then discovered around 70 "sinkholes" in the reservoir bed, which they tried covering between 1975 and 1978 by dumping thousands of tonnes of earth by the barge load. One sinkhole that appeared in 1984 was still there in 1991 and could affect the permeability of the dam. Downstream of the dam, a huge 50 metre-deep, 300 metre-wide plunge pool formed in 1976 when the main spillway began operating. During the following year’s floods, the rocks at the base of the spillway eroded, threatening the safety of the huge concrete spillway. The auxiliary spillway had similar problems and the contractors had to undertake a three-year "rock stabilisation programme".

The rescue works on the Tarbela dam boosted the cost from an estimated $800 million in 1968 to $1.5 billion by 1986. Only continual monitoring, remedial work and maintenance have stopped the dam from releasing a tidal wave into the densely populated Peshawar Valley below. By 1999 the Tarbela reservoir had succumbed to 32% of silting. The sedimentation still continues, gradually reducing the life of the dam - thus the need to build more dams for storage of water and meet the increasing demands of electricity.

Ghazi Barotha

Ghazi Barotha Power Generation Project

There have been only two major power generation projects, Tarbela and Mangla Dams, which do not produce adequate electricity for the entire country. In the absence of any other mega dam project, it was planned to utilize the downstream flow of the Indus from Ghazi to Barotha and produce electricity at Barotha by the fast current of downstream water. Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project holds the record for the biggest lined channel in the world.

The channel is some 51.90 kilometers long with a concrete lining and design flow of up to 1,600 cumecs at a water depth of 9 m and a bottom width of 58.4 m. The difference of height between Ghazi and Barotha is 76 metres, which makes the water to flow at the speed of 1,600 cumecs, creating enough pressure to run turbines at Ghazi to generate some 1,450 MW of electricity and an average energy output of 6,600 GWh.

Ghazi Brotha Hydropower Project with a generation capacity of 1,450 MW and an average energy output of 6,600 GWh is a large, renewable and emission-free source of energy towards WAPDA's Vision 2025 goals.

Tarbela Dam

Tarbela Dam (Urdu: تربیلا بند) is a large dam on the Indus River in Pakistan. It is located in Swabi District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, about 50 kilometres (31 mi) northwest of Islamabad.[2]The dam is 485 feet (148 m) high above the riverbed. The dam forms the Tarbela Reservoir, with a surface area of approximately 250-square-kilometre (97 sq mi). The dam was completed in 1974 and was designed to store water from the Indus River for irrigation, flood control, and the generation of hydroelectric power.


The project is located at a narrow spot in the Indus River valley, at tarbela in Swabi, shortly located at the point from where the District Haripur, in hazara division starts. Here the river formerly split around a large island close to the left bank. The main dam wall, built of earth and rock fill, stretches 2,743 metres (8,999 ft) from the island to river right, standing 148 metres (486 ft) high. A pair of concrete auxiliary dams spans the river from the island to river left. The spillways, located on the auxiliary dams, in turn consist of two parts. The main spillway has a discharge capacity of 18,406 cubic metres per second (650,000 cu ft/s) and the auxiliary spillway, 24,070 cubic metres per second (850,000 cu ft/s). The outlet works are a group of four tunnels that have been cut through the valley wall at river right, for uses of hydropower generation and flow control. These tunnels were originally used to divert the Indus River while the dam was being constructed. The fifth river outlet is situated on the left side of the dam and was completed in April 1976.People from Hazara division living across river Indus gave sacrifices and left their lands and homes for the sake of dam construction.These people are now settled by government of Pakistan in Khala Butt Township Haripur, Pakistan.

A hydroelectric power plant on the right side of the main dam houses 14 generators fed with water from outlet tunnels 1, 2, and 3. There are four 175MW generators on tunnel 1, six 175MW generators on tunnel 2, and four 432MW generators on tunnel 3, for a total generating capacity of 3,478 MW. Tarbela Reservoir is 80.5 kilometres (50.0 mi) long, with a surface area of 250 square kilometres (97 sq mi). The reservoir holds 11,600,000 acre feet (1.43×1010 m3) of water, with a live storage of 9,700,000 acre feet (1.196×1010 m3). The catchment area upriver of the Tarbela Dam is spread over 168,000 square kilometres (65,000 sq mi) of land largely supplemented by snow and glacier melt from the southern slopes of the Himalayas. There are two main Indus River tributaries upstream of the Tarbela Dam. These are the Shyok River, joining near Skardu, and the Siran River near Tarbela.

Main dam

The principal element of the project is an embankment 9,000 feet (2743 meters) long with a maximum height of 465 feet (143 meters). The total volume of earth and rock used for the project is approximately 200 million cubic yards (152.8 million cu. meters) which makes it the largest man made structure in the world , except for the Great Chinese Wall which consumed somewhat more material.[citation needed] The main embankment is a carefully designed, zoned structure composed of impervious core, bounded on both sides by gradually increasing sized material including coarser sands gravels cobbles and finally large sized riprap on the outer slopes. An impervious blanket, 42 feet (12.8 meters) thick at the dam and tailing to 5 feet (1.52 meters) at the upstream end, covers 5,700 feet (1737 meters) of the alluvial foundation on the upstream side. These deposits in the valley are up to 700 feet (213 meters) deep and in places consist of open work gravels. The dam crosses this essentially alluvial valley and connects the last points to high ground before the mountains give way to the plains. A 24 feet (7.32 meters) thick filter drain mattress under the embankment together with nearly vertical chimney drain provides the necessary facility to collect the seepage.[3]

Power Station

According to the original plan, four (4) power units of 175 MW generating capacity each were to be installed on each of the tunnels 1, 2 and 3 located on the right bank with the ultimate installed capacity of 2,100 MW. Of these, four (4) units on tunnel 1 were commissioned in the year 1977. Due to increasing prices of the fossil fuel, the Govt of Pakistan has been laying greater emphasis on generation of cheap Hydro power. In pursuance of this policy, WAPDA carried out studies to tap the maximum power potential of Tarbela. As a result, it has been found possible to install six (6) units, instead of four (4) only on tunnel NO.2. Units 5 to 8 on tunnel NO.2 were commissioned in 1982, and units 9 and 10 in 1985. Based on studies, four power units of 432 MW capacity each were installed on tunnel NO.3. Thus the total ultimate power potential of the project enhanced from 2100 MW as originally planned to 3478 MW. There are further plans to increase the power generation by 800 MW to bring the total Power Generation Capacity to more than 4200 MW.

[edit] Project Implementation

On May 14, 1968, the World’s largest single contract for the construction of civil works at that time, the Tarbela Dam Project was signed at a price of RS.2,965,493,217 ($ 623 Million) between the Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan and the Tarbela Dam Joint Venture which comprised a group of three Italian and three French heavy construction contractors. Later five German and two Swiss contractors also joined the group making up a consortium of thirteen European firms led by Italian firm namely Impregilo. The engineers for the design and supervision of construction and operation were from the firm Tippetts, Abbett, McCarthy and Stratton International Corporation (TAMS) of the United States.

The construction of Tarbela Dam was carried out in three stages to meet the diversion requirements of the river. In stage-I, the river Indus was allowed to flow in its natural channel while work was continued on right bank where a 1500 feet (457 meters) long and 694 feet (212 meters) wide diversion channel was excavated and a 105 feet (32 meters) high buttress dam was constructed with its top elevation at 1, 187 feet (362 meters) The diversion channel was capable of discharging 750,000 cusecs (21,238 cumecs). Construction under stage-I lasted 2½ years.

In stage-II, the main embankment dam and the upstream blanket were constructed across the main valley of the river Indus while water remained diverted through the diversion channel. By the end of stage-II, tunnels, had been built for diversion purposes. The stage-II construction took 3 years to complete. Under stage-III, the work was carried out on the closure of diversion channel and construction of the dam in that portion while the river was made to flow through diversion tunnels. The remaining portion of upstream blanket and the main dam at higher levels was also completed as a part of stage-III world.

The reservoir created submerged much of Amb state.

Life Span

Because the source of the Indus River is glacial meltwater from the Himalayas, the river carries huge amounts of sediment. The annual suspended sediment load is about 430 million tons per year. This means that, over time, the reservoir will fill. The useful life of the dam and reservoir was estimated to be somewhere around fifty years, since the dam's completion in 1976, meaning that the reservoir would have been full of sediment by 2030.

Sedimentation, however, has been much lower than predicted, and it is now estimated that the useful lifespan of the dam will be 85 years, to about 2060. [4]