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Saturday February 24, 2024

Indus at Diamer Bhasha dam site to be diverted completely by next week

By Our Correspondent
December 11, 2023

LAHORE: Wapda Chairman Engr Lt-Gen (R) Sajjad Ghani visited the Diamer Bhasha Dam Project on Sunday to review the river diversion system. The project is operational since last week after partial diversion of River Indus.

The diversion system consists of about one-kilometer-long diversion tunnel, 0.857-km-long diversion canal and two coffer (starter) dams, one at the upstream and other at the downstream of the main dam site.

Wapda Chairman Engr Lt-Gen (R) Sajjad Ghani (c) during his visit to the Diamer Bhasha Dam Project on December 10, 2023. — Facebook/WAPDA
Wapda Chairman Engr Lt-Gen (R) Sajjad Ghani (c) during his visit to the Diamer Bhasha Dam Project on December 10, 2023. — Facebook/WAPDA 

Wapda succeeded in diverting River Indus partially last week through the diversion system constructed for the purpose. Nowadays, the mighty River Indus is flowing mainly through the diversion tunnel and diversion canal, while partly through its natural course.

The Wapda chairman also reviewed the construction progress on different sites of the project. CEO, GM/Project Director Diamer Bhasha Dam and representatives of consultants and contractors were also present during the chairman’s visit.

The chairman was briefed about the test-run of the diversion system. The diversion tunnel and diversion canal both are functioning satisfactorily. At present, construction work is continuing smoothly on 13 sites simultaneously, he was further briefed.

It is pertinent to mention that Wapda is all set to achieve the landmark of Indus River diversion at the Diamer Bhasha Dam Project next week by plugging the upstream coffer dam. The River Indus will then be flowing completely through the diversion system, bypassing the main dam site and rejoining its natural course after about a distance of 800 meters. The Diamer Bhasha Dam is being constructed on River Indus, 40 kilometres downstream of Chilas town.

This mega and multipurpose project is scheduled for completion in 2028. It has a gross water storage capacity of 8.1 MAF to irrigate 1.23 million acres of land. Power generation capacity of the project stands at 4,500 MWs, with annual energy generation of 18 billion units.

The Diamer Bhasha Dam is amongst 8 under-construction Wapda projects, which are scheduled for completion from 2024 to 2028-29. These projects will add about 10,000 MWs of low-cost and environment-friendly hydel electricity and store 9.7 million acre feet of water.