Land worth $ one bil­lion pro­cured for Di­amir-Bhasha Dam

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

The govern­ment has pro­cured land worth $1 bil­lion from its own re­sources for the Di­amer-Bhasha Dam, and work would kick-start by the end of this year.

"Af­ter the Tar­bella and Mangla dams, noth­ing was done for wa­ter stor­age, and to­day Pak­istan has 30-day ca­pac­ity, and upon com­ple­tion of the Di­amer-Bhasha, it will reach 90 days," ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial sources in the Min­istry of Plan­ning, De­vel­op­ment and Re­forms here on Wed­nes­day.

Di­amir-Bhasha Dam, one of the most im­por­tant en­ergy projects of the coun­try is likely to be part of se­cond phase of China Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC). The pro­ject is life and death for Pak­istan as it would not only gen­er­ate 4500 MW of elec­tric­ity but would also serve as a huge wa­ter reser­voir for the coun­try.

"Af­ter a decade, the coun­try is ex­pected to face acute short­age of wa­ter so in or­der to pre­vent food star­va­tion, this pro­ject would be de­vel­oped at any cost".

The govern­ment as­signs the high­est pri­or­ity to Bhasha Dam be­cause a se­ri­ous wa­ter cri­sis is loom­ing in next five to ten years which will be much big­ger than elec­tric­ity cri­sis. The foun­da­tion stone of Di­amir-Bhasha Dam, a grav­ity dam on the River In­dus in Gil­git-Baltistan, was laid on Oc­to­ber 18, 2011.

Upon com­ple­tion, Di­amir-Bhasha Dam would be the high­est roller com­pacted con­crete (RCC) dam in the world.

The dam site is si­t­u­ated near a place called "Bhasha" in Gil­git- Baltistan's Di­amir District, hence the name.

Di­amir-Bhasha Dam would pro­duce 4,500 megawatts of elec­tric­ity through en­vi­ron­men­tally clean hy­dropower gen­er­a­tion; store an ex­tra 8,500,000 acre feet (10.5 km3) of wa­ter for the coun­try that would be used for ir­ri­ga­tion and drink­ing; ex­tend the life of Tar­bela Dam lo­cated down­stream by 35 years; and con­trol flood dam­age by the River In­dus down­stream dur­ing high floods.

It will have a height of 272 me­ters spill­way with four­teen gates each 11.5 m x 16.24 m. The gross ca­pac­ity of the reser­voir will be 8,100,000 acre feet (10.0 km3), with a live stor­age of 6,400,000 acre feet (7.9 km3). Two un­der­ground power houses are be­ing pro­posed, one on each side of the main dam hav­ing six tur­bines on each side with to­tal in­stalled ca­pac­ity 4500 MW.

In Jan­uary 2006, the govern­ment an­nounced the de­ci­sion to con­struct 5 multi-pur­pose stor­age dams in the coun­try dur­ing next 10-12 years. Ac­cord­ing to the plan, Di­amir-Bhasha Dam pro­ject was pro­posed in the first phase. In Novem­ber 2008, the Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee of Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil for­mally ap­proved the pro­ject. Coun­cil of Com­mon In­ter­ests Pak­istan, a con­sti­tu­tional body rep­re­sent­ing the provinces, also ap­proved the con­struc­tion of the dam. The cost of the Di­amir-Bhasha dam was es­ti­mated at $12.6 bil­lion.

Un­der the pro­posed pro­ject, Rs 10.76 bil­lion will be spent for the ac­qui­si­tion of agri­cul­ture-bar­ren land, tree and nurs­eries and Rs 1.638 bil­lion to be utilised for prop­er­ties and in­fra­struc­ture, Rs 8.8 bil­lion for es­tab­lish­ment of nine model vil­lages, Rs 62.119 mil­lion for pay and al­lowances for ad­min­is­tra­tive ar­range­ments, and Rs.17.7 mil­lion for con­tin­gent ad­min­is­tra­tive ex­penses.

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