Gilani lays foundation stone of Bhasha-Diamer Dam
NISAR AHMED THOKAR
Islamabad, Oct 18: Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday laid foundation stone of the much-awaited Diamir Bhasha dam being built over Indus River some 40 km west of Chilas in Gilgit Baltistan.
Addressing the foundation stone laying ceremony, he said that the project will help to meet the country’s growing power and irrigation needs.
Terming it as a “life line of Pakistan”, Gilani appreciated all the stake holders for their positive role in initiating the gigantic project.
The mega project having water storage of over 8 Million Acre Feet (MFA) is said to have a potential to produce 19 billion units of electricity annually. Experts believe that the billion dollar project would go a long way to help the country to over come its energy crisis besides bringing economic prosperity in the region.
Pertinently, Northern Areas including Gilgit Baltistan has enormous power generation capacity but Pakistan could not initiate any mega project since 1976. Mangal and Tarbella Dams, which serve as the back-bone of Pakistan’s largest irrigation system and plays vital role in the socio-economic development of the country, were constructed in 1967 and 1976 respectively.
According to the proposed plan, the construction on the mega-project was supposed to begin some three years back but work on the world's highest Roller Compacted Concrete Dam in the Himalayan region could not be initiated due to the non-completion of road infrastructure and residential colonies in the area. The project would be completed within seven to eight years at a cost of 14 billion dollar.
Government of Pakistan had allocated a huge amount for the acquisition of land and resettlement of the affected people and as per the plan nine model villages would be established in the area to rehabilitate displaced people besides providing jobs to the affectees.
The project is located on Indus River, about 315 km upstream of Tarbela Dam, 165 km downstream of the Northern Area capital Gilgit and 40 km downstream of Chilas. The dam would have a maximum height of 270 m, and a reservoir of about 7,500,000 acre feet, with live storage of more than 6,400,000 acre feet. The dam project would cover an area of 110 km2 and extend 100 km upstream of the dam-site up to Raikot Bridge on Karakoram Highway.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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