Pakistan will start construction work on Diamer-Bhasha Dam through indigenous resources as international lenders are linking serious conditions with the provision of funding and the project cost has now reached US$14 billion against the original estimates of US$5 billion.
This was stated by Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman, Muzammil Hussain while briefing the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament held under the chairmanship of Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah.
He said that as the water and energy security are key components of national security so keeping in view the government has finalized the plan to start work on Diamer-Bhasha Dam which has been lingering on for decades.
Diamer-Bhasha dam with the cost of US$12-14 billion will generate 4,500MW of electricity, and a vast new reservoir would regulate the flow of water to farmland that is vulnerable to increasingly erratic weather patterns. “First we had requested the government to allocate Rs80 billion for the project but later on the project was reviewed and Wapda asked the government to provide Rs30 billion in the first phase. We are also negotiating with local banks to provide the funding and once we complete them, the dam will go for international lenders to fund the power house as everybody will be ready to fund the power house,” he said.
Wapda has not only finalized planning to start construction work on Diamer-Bhasha Dam but it has also made a viable plan to start construction work on Mohmand Dam in 2018 which will produce 800 megawatts electricity as well as irrigating hundreds of thousands of acres of agriculture land and providing drinking water to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muzammil said.
“For these, we need to make critical development plans in both water and energy sectors and there has to be a strategy that could turn words into action,” he said.