Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam will not only cater for energy requirements of the country but at the same time will be a source of development for Gilgit-Baltistan. He said this while reviewing progress on Diamer-Bhasha Dam project here in PM House today. Diamer-Bhasha Dam will prove to be an economic milestone for Pakistan, PM added.
Prime Minister directed that 1% of the project cost should be allocated specifically for environmental conservation so that local vegetation and wildlife resources are not affected and first preference for un-skilled jobs should be given to locals of the project area. PM further directed that security of foreign consultants working on the project should be ensured and security costs be adjusted in the project cost.
PM was apprised that a separate unit of Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts is being raised specifically for security of this project and in this regard an MoU has been signed with Interior Ministry. It was informed during the meeting that 100 Kmof the Karakoram Highway (KKH) will be affected after construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam and an alternate route stretching 142 Kmwill be built on KKH.
Prime Minister directed that the Chairman WAPDA should visit the project site immediately and report the updated status regarding progress of work. PM further said that he will personally monitor the project’s progress and will visit the site soon.
Earlier, the Prime Minister was briefed that the project will provide a gross storage of 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) and live storage of 6.4 MAF and the total cost of the project is US$ 13.87 billion with 9 years completion time. The project will have an installed capacity of 4,500 MW generated from 12 units of 375 MW and will generat revenue of US$ 2.216 billion per annum. The project will pay back its cost in 8 years and would also extend life of Tarbela reservoir by 35 years by blocking the sediments upstream. PM was apprised that land acquisition for the project is in process.
PM was told that three (03) model villages at Thak Das, Harpan Das and Kino Das with all basic amenities shall be developed for resettlement of 4228 affected households / families who are dislocated due to the project.