LAHORE – The United States has responded positively to the request of the government for co-financing the construction of the Bhasha Dam, while modalities in this regard will be decided soon.

Official sources in the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority told The Nation that the WAPDA had formally requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United States (USA) and the donors of Middle East for co-financing of the multi-purpose Diamer-Basha Dam project and the US has now showed its willingness to provide financial assistance to Pakistan to build the mega project.

According to sources, the high officials from Ministry of Water and Power had briefed the United States government about the dam on different occasions and highlighted its importance. They tried to convince it that in the wake of increasing demand of electricity and water in the country, it was a vital project that needed to be undertaken urgently.

A US delegation in a meeting on Thursday assured the WAPDA officials of arranging the funding for this mega project, sources said and added that it was a significant development. They said that the ADB is likely to be the leading donor for the construction of Diamer-Basha Dam.
They said that the federal government has allocated Rs 15 billion for the project during the current fiscal year. A sum of Rs 5 billion will be provided by the government through Annual Development Programme (ADP), while Rs 10 billion will be raised by WAPDA as approved by the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet last week. Rs 2 billion have been earmarked for land acquisition this year, they added.

They said that Rs 700 million were released to the Deputy Commissioner Chillas during the last fiscal year for initiating the process of land acquisition for the project.

The Nation