Financial plan for Diamer-Bhasha approved


Funds to be arranged from PSDP and Wapda resources

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad—In an important development towards kick starting work on multi purpose Diamer Bhasha Dam, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday approved in principle the financing plan for Diamer Bhasha Dam. The plan was presented to him by the Secretary Water and Power.
This proposal on self reliance basis will fund the Dam portion of the project from PSDP allocations and WAPDA generated resources while the rest of the financing for the power generation portion will be arranged on commercial basis by the Ministry either through WAPDA or through leasing its existing projects.
The prime minister asked the secretaries Water & Power , planning and finance to expedite completion of financial proposal. He directed Secretary water and power to start the preparations so that the physical work on the Dam is started before the end of 2017.
Diamer Bhasha Dam was approved for construction by Council of Common Interests in the year 2009. The efforts to finance it through multilateral donors have been taking a longer time and Pakistan needs to enhance its storage capacity urgently to meet the challenge of becoming a water scarce country.
The storage capacity in the existing Dams is fast deleting due to silting and the country losing on its agricultural production after every few years due to a dry season, needs to be overcome by constructing more storages.
Diamer Bhasha Dam will provide 8.1 MAF of gross storage of which 6.4 MAF will be the live storage and a capacity to produce 4500 MWs of cheap and clean energy.
Nawaz Sharif also appreciated the fact that the land acquisition for the Dam has been completed with the efforts of the Ministry and the GB administration.
Meanwhile, addressing business community here on Monday, Minister for Planning and Development said the government is actively pursuing projects relating to water reservoirs. He expressed the confidence that ground breaking of Diamer-Bhasha dam would be performed next year. He said one billion dollars had been spent on the land acquisition of Diamer-Bhasha dam, while it will be able to store over six million acre feet of water, besides generating affordable electricity of 4500 MWs.
The Minister said the government is also actively working on small dams like Kurram-Tungi and Munda dams to overcome energy shortage and to provide sufficient water for drinking and irrigation purposes. He said work is also continuing on the construction of small dams in Balochistan.
He said the government is looking for generating cheap electricity through alternative sources.

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