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September 13, 2018

Govt receives pre-qualification bids for Diamer-Bhasha dam’s construction


September 13, 2018

LAHORE: Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) on Wednesday received pre-qualification bids from at least five joint ventures of foreign and local firms through international competitive bidding for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam and its appurtenant structures. Wapda has stepped up its efforts in the wake of a Supreme Court’s decision and the government’s resolve for early commencement and timely completion of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams,

The received pre-qualification bids will be evaluated in accordance with the bid documents and the relevant procurement rules of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority and the Pakistan Engineering Council.

The $12 to 14 billion Diamer-Bhasha dam is a multipurpose project for water storage, flood mitigation and power generation. The project will be constructed across River Indus about 40-kilometre downstream of Chillas town. The 272-metre high roller compacted concrete dam will have a gross water storage capacity of 8.1 million acres feet. The project will generate 4,500 megawatts of electricity with annual energy generation of more than 18 billion units of low-cost and environment-friendly electricity.

With the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam project, the life of Tarbela dam will enhance to another 35 years. It will also have a positive impact on the annual energy generation of the projects in the downstream areas.

It is estimated that the annual energy generation of the existing hydropower stations including Tarbela, Ghazi Barotha, Jinnah and Chashma will increase by about 2.5 billion per annum, while annual energy generation of the future hydropower projects including Dasu, Pattan and Thakot will also surge by another 7.5 billion units.

The reservoir would be in the politically contested Northern Areas in Kashmir.

Wapda had planned to start the dam’s construction in 2010 and received applications to its notice for prequalification of contractors.

Now, the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Saqib Nisar took interest in its construction and established a fund to collect public donations.

The Fund for Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand dams has secured around three billion rupees till Monday, according to the central bank’s data.

Development analysts who say the mega project needs huge funding said the donations would not be enough to achieve the landmark for which successive governments had been allocating funds since 2008.

Given the gigantic relocations of households and construction of bridges that are prerequisites to the project, the dam has yet to see daylight.

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