Financing plan approved
The financing plan for construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam from indigenous resources is in principle approved by Prime Minister Nawaz sharif with directives to the ministry of finance for finalization of funding modalities.
Ministry of water and power has suggested that dam portion of the project must be financed on self-reliance basis through Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) allocation as well as sources generated from Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA).
However, details to this effect would be finalized by finance ministry as directed by the Prime Minister. The PSDP allocation would be made from the next fiscal year.
The Prime Minister directed the secretaries for water and power, planning, and finance to prepare the financial proposal on priority basis, while secretary water and power was also directed to start the preparations so that the physical work on the dam could be started before the end of 2017. It is pertinent to mention here that Diamer-Bhasha Dam was approved for construction by the CCI in 2009.
Pakistan needs to enhance its storage capacity urgently to address the threat of becoming a water-scarce country but the efforts to finance it through multilateral donors have been taking a long time.
The storage capacity in existing dams is fast depleting due to silting and the country is losing its agricultural production after every few years due to dry seasons that need to be overcome by constructing more water reservoirs.
Diamer-Bhasha Dam will have the capacity to produce 4500MW electricity and will also have water storage capacity of 8,100,000 acre feet.