Not walking out of Diamer Bhasha dam project, says ADB

4500MW Diamer-Bhasha Dam project

ISLAMABAD, September 01, 2012: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has not walked away from the construction of 4500MW Diamer-Bhasha Dam project, Country Director of the bank Werner E Liepach said here on Friday.“We have not walked away and ADB has always been there to help Pakistan in rain and shine,” Werner E Liepach told media persons. He was accompanied by Director General Private Sector Operations Department (PSOD), Philip C. Erquiaga, who is visiting the country to help enhance private sector investment of the bank in Pakistan. Reports of ADB’s disengagement from the dam were misleading and out of proportion, he said while commenting on some news articles regarding the matter.He said that the Bank has not walked away from the project but “we are not as fast as the government wants us to be on it”, adding that the main focus of ADB strategies is to ensure that the project is completed and implemented and this could be done when everything is in place before going for the project construction.He said that Diamar Bhasha dam project was big and hence a complex project, requiring huge funding for which there is need to invite other parties and ADB has been asking the government to bring other financers for the project.“ADB cannot do it alone and even the government of Pakistan cannot do it alone,”. So, he said, there is need that some other parties or financial institutions come forward to help funding the project.He was of the view that construction of dam was very much important for the country and ADB has been engaged in negotiations with the government to find financers for the project. He opined that Pakistan can use the Friends of Democratic Pakistan forum for bringing into investments for the dam as well as other projects of the country.He categorically denied that there were relationship gaps between the bank and the government. “There are no relationship issues between ADB and the government and the bank has always been there to help Pakistan.” He said that Pakistan was the member of the bank and it is duty of the bank to help its members. However, he added that as per the policies of the bank, any project in disputed territory should have no objection from the concerned parties. However, he clarified that ADB has not demanded any written `No Objection Certificate’ from the government of Pakistan, as suggested in media reports.He said that after the financing plan is done, the project plan goes to the ADB board, where it is required that the projected is not objected at this stage, he added. He said that ADB was very much engaged with Pakistan and would continue its engagement with the country to help it realize the development objectives.



Courtesy: DAWN

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