CHILAS: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Tuesday laid foundation stone of the US 12 billion dollar Diamir Bhasha dam that would generate 4500 MW electricity and store over 8 Million Acre Feet of water to meet country’s growing power and irrigation needs.
The dam, world’s highest concrete dam on River Indus would produce 19 billion units of electricity annually and enhance life of Tarbela Dam by over 35 years.
Prime Minister Gilani was accompanied by Minister for Defence Ch. Ahmed Mukhtar, Governor Gilgit Baltistan Pir Karam Ali Shah, Chief Minister GB Mehdi Shah, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, Minister for Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar and Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Barrister Masood Kauser and Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti.
Chairman WAPDA Shakeel Durrani said Monday Diamir Bhasha dam is the first major hydel power project after Mangla Dam built in 1967 and Tarbela Dam built in 1974.
Diamer Bhasha dam with a height of 272 meters, is being built on Indus river, about 300 kilometers upstream of Tarbela Dam, he added.
Diamer Bhasha Dam will have 4500 megawatt generation capacity and it will store 8.1 million acre feet of water, he said adding, it will be completed in seven to eight years at an estimated cost of 12 billion dollars.
The dam will generate electricity worth about two billion dollars per year and recover its cost in about seven years. It will be the highest Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) dam in the world, he told.
He said the affected people would get compensation of Rs 41 billion and another Rs 61 billion would be spent on establishment of nine townships with all basic facilities of schools, hospitals and roads.
Durrani said Diamir Dam will reduce silting problem of Tarbela Dam and all other such dams to be built on river Indus.