Env. Plan for Gomal Zam

Gomal Zam Dam Multipurpose Project (A saga of pitfalls and manurouring strives)

The implementation of Gomal Zam DAM Multipurpose Project is studded with many fits and starts. Storing of Gomal Zam River water was envisaged even in 1880s and studies remained continued till 1957, when these culminated into “Gulkach Dam Project” and preliminary works were undertaken. Then in 1964 the preliminary construction oriented activities commenced 30 Km downstream of earlier approved Gulkach Dam site i.e. at Khajurikach to trap the waters of Gomal, Zhob and Wana Toi Rivers. No particular studies were carried out to take care of environmental footprints of this project at this stage. The work did not proceed further due to some unavoidable reasons. However, after a complete review of feasibility an updated report was prepared by Coyne-et-Bellier of France in 1995, wherein environmental considerations were also incorporated.

WEC joined the project implementing team through top supervision of Environmental Management Plan to carve a niche of environmental sustainability in the wake of following project actions:

i. Development of an irrigation system for crop production over a water right command area of 66,000 ha.

ii. 17.4 MW Hydropower generation component.

iii. Cross-drainage works to protect project infrastructure and irrigated areas.

The potentially negative environmental and social impacts of the project included: loss of land and built-up property due to the construction of the project components, changed water rights of communities in the project area, altered flow regime in Gomal River downstream of Barrage, contamination of soil and water caused by inappropriate waste disposal, deterioration of air quality, local populace health and safety issues. These impacts have been found to be low to moderate significance and with the help of mitigation initiatives they have been brought down to acceptable limits with the implementation of environmental mitigation and monitoring plan through pragmatic project based environmental team and under the tide-turning guidance of WEC, the project is almost complete with least environmental ramifications.

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