Wapda chief reviews progress on Diamer-Basha Dam
LAHORE: Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (Retd) visited the multipurpose Diamer-Basha Dam to review the construction work on the project being constructed on River Indus 40km downstream of Chilas town and 180km upstream of Tarbela Dam.
Commander 10 Corps Pakistan Army Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza also accompanied him during the visit.
Wapda GM (Land Accusation and Resettlement) Brig Shoaib Taqi (Retd), GM (Diamer-Basha Dam project) Muhammad Yousuf Rao and representatives of the consultants and the contractors were also present on the occasion.
The Wapda chairman said Diamer-Basha Dam is one of the most significant projects for sustained development, as it would provide water for agriculture, mitigate floods and generate low-cost electricity; therefore, concerted efforts are needed on the part of all the stakeholders for its scheduled completion in 2028/29.
Referring to the benefits of Diamer-Basha Dam, he said, the project will change the destiny of the nation by stabilising economy and alleviating poverty.
He said the project is also turning out to be a game changer for the locals, as a hefty amount of Rs78.5 billion is being spent on various development schemes as confidence-building measures (CBMs) in the project area.
The Wapda chief also visited various sites of the project and witnessed construction activities there. Earlier, the project authorities apprised him that at present, construction work is being carried out simultaneously on eight different sites, including access roads, permanent access bridge across River Indus downstream of the main dam, 21MW-Tangir hydropower project, excavation of dam abutment from the top, diversion tunnel, diversion canal, diversion inlet and power intake.
A detailed deliberation was also made about the CBMs being taken by Wapda for the wellbeing of the locals relating to health, education, tourism, and infrastructure development in the project area.
More than 16,500 employment opportunities will be created during the construction of the project in a phased manner. The people residing in the project area are being given priority for the jobs, as around 3,200 locals had already been employed at the project by Wapda, the consultants and the contractors.
Diamer-Basha Dam will have a gross water storage capacity of 8.1MAF to irrigate 1.23 million acres of additional land. With the installed power generation capacity of 4,500MW, the project will provide more than 18 billion units/annum to the national grid.
The construction of Diamer-Basha Dam will also have a positive impact on the annual energy generation of the existing hydel power stations, including Tarbela, Ghazi Barotha, etc, which will increase by another 2.5 billion units.
In addition, the life of the Tarbela Dam, which has been playing a pivotal role for the progress of the country since 1974, will also increase by another 35 years.
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