ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Diamer- Bhasha Dam project next week to review construction activities.
The project was marred by a delay of decades due to various contributing factors. However, the PTI government realigned the project prioritizing the water and hydropower sectors in its development strategy, according to a Wapda statement.
Following prompt decision-making by the government and an innovative financial plan by Wapda to arrange funds for construction of the project with meager burden on the national exchequer, the dam is at last going to see the light of the day.
After Mohmand Dam, which was started in 2019, Diamer-Bhasha Dam is the second mega multi-purpose dam that has been commenced in about a year.
Diamer-Bhasha Dam, a vital project for water, food and energy security of Pakistan, is being constructed on the Indus River, 315 Kilometer (Km) upstream of Tarbela Dam, 180Km downstream of Gilgit, and 40Km downstream of Chilas town.
The project is scheduled to be completed in 2028-29.
The project has three core objectives – water storage for agriculture, flood mitigation and hydel power generation.
The dam will have a gross water storage capacity of 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) to irrigate 1.23 million acres of additional land.
The project with installed power generation capacity of 4,500 megawatt (MW) will provide more than 18 billion units per annum to the national grid.
If this quantum of electricity is to be generated through expensive thermal source, the national kitty will have to spend Rs270 billion at the average generation cost of Rs15 per unit.
Construction of this dam will also have a positive impact on the annual energy generation of the existing hydel power stations including Tarbela, Ghazi Barotha etc. that will increase by another 2.5 billion units.
In addition, the life of Tarbela Dam that has been playing a pivotal role in the progress of the country since 1974, will also increase by another 35 years.
In view of its benefits, Diamer Basha Dam Project will go a long way towards stabilizing the economy.
Commencement of Diamer-Bhasha Dam has proved a good omen for the locals, as Rs78.5 billion is being spent on various schemes as confidence building measures (CBMs) in the project area.
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