LAHORE: Pakistan Water and Power DevelopmentAuthority (WAPDA) Chairman Zafar Mahmood visited Diamer Basha Dam site to have first-hand knowledge about the project and witness the progress on the preparatory works that are underway there.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman said that Diamer Basha Dam is of immense importance because of its water storage capacity, generation
of much-needed low-cost hydel electricity and flood mitigation. He said that initiation of construction work on the main dam in the shortest possible time is one of his priorities in view of the project’s strategic importance for economy, especially food and energy security of the country.
During his visit, the Chairman had a detailed round of the dam site, under construction model village for affectees at Harpin Das, WAPDA colony at Thor Valley and Shatial Bypass.
The project authorities apprised Chairman WAPDA about salient features of Diamer Basha Dam. They told that the project will have a gross storage capacity of 8.1 million acre feet of water and power generation capacity of 4500 MW. He was further informed that more than 18 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity will be provided to the National Grid per annum by Diamer Basha Dam.
They said that in addition to this, the construction of Diamer Basha Dam will increase the generation capacity of Dasu Hydropower Project by about 5 billion units, a project to be constructed downstream, while additional hydel electricity of 2 billion units will also be produced from the existing Tarbela, Ghazi Barotha and Chashma Hydel Power Stations due to regulated water flows from Diamer Basha Dam. Besides, the project will extend the life of Tarbela Reservoir by 35 years.
It was further briefed that construction of WAPDA offices and colony, contractor’s camp and allied infrastructure in the project area is being carried out through 12 different contracts. The Chairman was informed that Shatial Bypass is being constructed at higher altitude to facilitate initiation of construction work on the main dam. The Chairman directed the project authorities to accelerate the pace of construction work and ensure its completion without any further loss of time.
Earlier, WAPDA Chairman had a detailed meeting with GB Chief Secretary at Chillas and discussed the matters relating to Diamer Basha Dam Project. The meeting reviewed, at length, the process of land acquisition for Diamer Basha Dam, progress on implementation of resettlement and social action plan and ongoing preparatory works in the project area.
The Chairman emphasized that the process of land acquisition for the project should be accelerated by the GB Government. The Chief Secretary assured the Chairman WAPDA of the GB Government’s full cooperation in all matters pertaining to Diamer Basha Dam Project including land acquisition.
The Chairman WAPDA also met the dam affectees and assured them of taking their justifiable demands into account.
In addition to visiting Diamer Basha Dam, the Chairman during his two-day round of WAPDA projects, also visited various existing as well as up-coming projects. These projects include the 121 MW-Allai Khwar, the 72 MW-Khan Khwar, the 130 MW-Duber Khwar, the 122 MW-Keyal Khwar, the 2000-MW Pattan and the 4320 MW-Dasu hydropower projects.