ISLAMABAD: The government has procured land worth Rs1 billion from its own resources for the Diamer-Bhasha Dam and work would kickstart by the end of this year.
After the Tarbela and Mangla dams nothing was done for water storage and today Pakistan has 30 days capacity and upon completion of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam, it will reach 90 days, according to official sources in the Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms on Wednesday.
Diamer-Bhasha Dam, one of the most important energy projects of the country, is likely to be part of the second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The project is life and death for Pakistan, as it would not only generate 4,500MW, but would also serve as a huge water reservoir for the country.
After a decade, the country is expected to face acute water shortage; therefore, in order to prevent food starvation this project would be developed at any cost.
The government assigns highest priority to Bhasha Dam because a serious water crisis is looming in the next five to 10 years, which will be much bigger than the electricity crisis.
The foundation stone of Diamer-Bhasha Dam a gravity dam on the River Indus in Gilgit-Baltistan was laid on October 18, 2011.
Upon completion, Diamer-Bhasha Dam would be the highest roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam in the world.
Diamer-Bhasha Dam would produce 4,500MW through environmentally clean hydropower generation, store an additional 8,500,000 acres feet (10.5 km3) of water for the country that would be used for irrigation and drinking extend the life of Tarbela Dam located downstream by 35 years and control flood damage by the River Indus downstream during high floods.
It will have a height of 272 meters spillway with 14 gates each 11.5 m x 16.24 m.
The gross capacity of the reservoir will be 8,100,000 acres feet (10.0 km3) with a live storage of 6,400,000 acres feet (7.9 km3).
Two underground power houses are being proposed one on each side of the main dam having six turbines on each side with total installed capacity 4,500MW.
In January 2006, the government had announced the decision to construct five multipurpose storage dams in the country during the next 10-12 years.
According to the plan, Diamer-Bhasha Dam project was proposed in the first phase.
In November 2008, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) formally approved the project.
The Council of Common Interests Pakistan a constitutional body representing the provinces also approved the construction of the dam.
The cost of the Diamir-Bhasha dam was estimated at Rs12.6 billion.
Under the proposed project, Rs10.76 billion will be spent for the acquisition of agriculture barren land, trees and nurseries, Rs1.638 billion to be utilised for properties and infrastructure, Rs8.8 billion for establishment of nine model villages, Rs 62.119 million for pay and allowances for administrative arrangements and Rs17.7 million for contingent administrative expenses.
Detailed drawings of the dam were completed by March 2008. The project is located on River Indus, about 315km upstream of Tarbela Dam, 165km downstream of Gilgit and 40km downstream of Chilas.