October 23, 2012: Federal government has allocated about Rs 13.78 billion for 4500 MW-Diamer-Basha Dam Project during the fiscal year 2012-13. The project is being implemented on priority basis. These views were expressed by Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Raghib Shah while talking to Gilgit Baltistan Works Minister Bashir Ahmed, Health Minister Haji Gulber Khan and Taxation and Minerals Minister Muhammad Naseer Khan, who called on him Monday.
The Chairman said that as many as 14 local contracts had already been awarded and construction work on Wapda offices, colonies, contractors’ camp, road infrastructure etc in the project area was in full swing. He further said that the process to acquire land for the project both in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had also being started while a sum of Rs 6.85 billion had been paid to respective governments till June 2012 for the purpose.
The Chairman said that the multi-purpose Diamer-Basha Dam project would usher in an era of prosperity and development in the country, particularly in Gilgit-Baltistan. He said that a lucrative compensation package for affected people of the project had been devised in accordance with international standards.
The Gilgit-Baltistan ministers assured Wapda Chairman of their full support in implementation of the project. Discussing the matters relating to the project, they also apprised him of demands of the locals. The Chairman said that Wapda would look into the matter sympathetically within the rules.
It is pertinent to mention that Diamer-Basha Dam project is located in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. On completion, the project will store 8.1 million acre feet of water in addition to generating about 20 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity every year.