Diamer-Bhasha Dam to be a lifeline for country’s economy: PM

PM directs to complete Diamer-Bhasha Dam project till 2026 instead of 2029

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DIAMER: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said that the completion of Diamer-Bhasha dam would serve as future lifeline for the country’s economy, augmenting the power generation, besides boosting agriculture activities. Speaking after a briefing over the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam here, the prime minister said that 4500 MW project was of immense importance for the country’s economy and stressed that it should be completed ahead of its construction timeline of the year 2029. “I insist to go ahead of its timeline of 2029 and complete it by 2026-27. It will be a miracle, if we achieve it. Nothing is impossible in this world. We can achieve it if we advance in unison,” he added. The prime minister said that the project was initiated by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif during 2016 and funds were provided by the PML-N government for the land acquisition. The prime minister said that it was a gigantic task and assured all out support from the federal government to complete the project as early as possible. He also suggested for encouraging the international investors for future fundraising. He also announced the construction of 13km Babusar top tunnel to ensure year’s round traffic flow and asked the authorities to submit a study report to his office. Diamer-Bhasha Dam to be a lifeline for country’s economy. The prime minister said that what happened during last four years was unfortunate. He said early construction of the dam would be a good omen and a milestone in the country’s history. He regretted that out of 125-130MAF water, they were only saving and utilizing 25-30MAF water annually. The prime minister observed that it would be a big success if they saved water and mentioned that Diamer-Bhasha dam would play a vital role in water storage capacity.

It would save Tarbella dam from deposits of sediments and enhance its life span by 35 years, he added. The dam would control flash floods, enhance agricultural productivity, besides create jobs opportunities in the area, leading to economic prosperity, he added. The prime minister said that he would not go into the past four years, but what happened with power sector was indeed an injustice with the nation. Despite a power generation capacity of about 6000-7000MW, the gas-fired and oil run power plants had been shut, he added. As a Khadim-e-Pakistan, he would not lie before the nation or twist truth, but facts should come forward. The prime minister said the area lacked health facilities. He as chief minister of Punjab had donated a scanning machine for Gilgit. The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to submit a report within a week for the construction of fully equipped hospital in the area to provide the latest health facilities to the population of the area. Earlier Chairman WAPDA Lt. Gen. (retd) Muzzamil Hussain briefed the prime minister over the ongoing project. The prime minister was accompanied by members of the National Assembly Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Asif and PML -N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, MNA. The chairman WAPDA apprised that three mega hydel projects Diamer-Bhasha, Mohmand and Dasu dams worth Rs2.6 trillion were being completed. He said Diamer-Bhasha dam would have a storage capacity of 8.1 MAF with live storage of 6.4MAF and irrigate 1.23 million acres of land.It will generate 18,100 Gigawatt hours (GWh) power annually. The project would be completed during 2029 despite different challenges, he said adding, about 16500 jobs would be created. He said the project was of paramount importance for the country’s food security. Later, the prime minister also took an aerial review of Karakorum Highway, 3MW Thuk power project and Chilas cadet college. Diamer-Bhasha Dam to be a lifeline for country’s economy. Balochistan National Party chief Akhtar Mengal and Balochistan Awami Party parliamentary leader Khalid Magsi on Sunday called on Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif. During the meeting, leaders of both parties congratulated Shehbaz Sharif on taking oath of the office of prime minister and expressed their resolve to work closely with the federal government for the socio-economic prosperity of the country. Khawaja Saad Rafique, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Rana Sanaullah, PML-N members of the National Assembly, were also present during the meeting. The prime minister appreciated Akhtar Mengal, Khalid Magsi and their leaders for showing resolve to work collectively for strengthening of the democracy and public welfare.

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