Islamabad: Chairman WAPDA Mr. Shakil Durrani called on Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani here today and informed the Prime Minister that the government of Pakistan was going to exchange MoU with Asian Development Bank tomorrow on Diamir Bhasha Dam which was a major development for the project.
The ADB has also had agreed to become Financial Advisor for the Bhasha Dam which augurs well for the Hydro-Power Mega Project. He said that no mega project was taken up during the last forty years.
The Chairman informed that the ground breaking ceremony of the Project by the Prime Minister in October this year along with its earlier approval by the Council of Common Interests gave the requisite confidence to the international financial institutions that there was no going back and the government was committed to undertake the Project. He said that the project would not only add 4500 MW of power to the national grid but would also prove to be a life- line for the agriculture and industrial sectors.
The Chairman was grateful to the Prime Minister for his direction to the Ministry of Finance to release one hundred million dollars to National Highway Authority for the widening and improvement of the KKH from Tha Kot to the site of the Bhasha Dam. It is of fundamental importance because in absence of the road, the heavy machinery for the project cannot be transported to the site of the project, the Chairman said.
The Chairman said that the Bhasha Dam’s capacity of 8 MAF water and power generation capacity of 4500 MW would help to bring industrial and agriculture revolution in the country besides creating tens of thousands of job opportunities. The Chairman said that the project would recover the entire cost within seven years.
The Chairman said that the project would produce electricity worth two billion dollars annually besides sufficient water storage capacity for the agriculture to irrigate 2 million acres of land in the country. It is easy to imagine the boost the agriculture sector would get when two million acres of land would start giving yield and its consequential staggering social impact, he stated.
He further said that Diamir Bhasha Dam would also increase the life of Tarbella dam for another 35 years because the downstream silting would be reduced to a considerable extent.
The Chairman also informed the Prime Minister that there was at present sufficient water in the water reservoirs required for the power generation and for the Rabi crops. At present, water reservoirs are filled with six million MAF water, which is almost double the water available during the last ten years. The inauguration of the Mangla Dam Raising by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani had made the real difference.
The Chairman said that during the past ten years water reservoirs stood at an average of 3.5 million MAF which resulted into less power generation and less water for the agriculture sector, affecting the agriculture and industrial production.
The Chairman also requested the Prime Minister to inaugurate the Khan Khawr Hydropower Project with 72 MW capacity, District Shangla, KPK, which is 265 KM from Islamabad on the silk route.
Jinnah Hydropower Project with the capacity of 96 MW, district Mianwali, is also complete and ready for the inauguration by the Prime Minister, the Chairman said. The Project is located on the right side of Jinnah Barrage on Indus River about 5 KM downstream of Kalabagh.
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