Lahore, April 26, 2018 (PPI-OT): The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) has hailed the government for giving a final go-ahead to the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam at an estimated cost of Rs474 billion aimed at increasing the country’s depleting water storage capacity. PIAF chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh also asked the government to start work on Kalabagh Dam without any further delay. Chairman PIAF observed that KBD is the most thoroughly studied project by world’s top experts, reviewed by noted international panels of professionals and thoroughly appraised by the World Bank.
The project is located in the middle of load centre, easy to approach and no long distance transmission lines are required for it. It is ready for construction since mid eighties and international financing from World Bank or Asian Bank can still be easily arranged. In a joint statement along with senior vice chairman Tanveer Ahmed Sufi and vice chairman Shahzeb Akram, Irfan Iqbal Sheikh appreciated the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) for clearing the Diamer-Bhasha dam at a cost of Rs625 billion, he added.
The PIAF chairman asked the Water and Power Development Authority to sort out land issues before starting the construction of the dam. The project will contribute towards alleviation of acute water shortages in the Indus Basin Irrigation System caused by progressive siltation of existing reserves. He said that the powerhouse, when completed, is expected to enhance power generation capacity by 4,500 megawatt. Pakistan has not built any major water reservoir since Tarbela Dam and Mangla Dam were built in the 1960s.
He said that successive governments have given Rs138 billion for land acquisition and resettlement. Most of this work has already been done and the government has spent Rs58.3 billion on land acquisition. An amount of Rs53.5 billion has additionally been approved for resettlement. In the past 17 years, almost every head of the state and the government has performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the project but civil work could not begin due to lack of financial resources.
Chairman PIAF said that the dam will have a 6.4 million acres feet live storage capacity and an installed power capacity of 4,500 megawatt, according to an announcement by the Prime Minister Office. On completion, the project will increase national water storage capacity from 38 days to 45 days and enhance life span on downstream reservoirs, including the Tarbela Dam, he said. The project will also increase the Dasu hydropower project efficiency by 28%, according to a planning ministry official.
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Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF)
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