Diamer- Bhasha Dam

Pakistan Decides To Go Alone On Construction



Islamabad: Pakistan has withdrawn its request to include the $14-billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework after Beijing placed strict conditions including ownership of the project, said Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Muzammil Hussain on Tuesday.

“Chinese conditions for financing the Diamer-Bhasha Dam were not doable and against our interests,” said Hussain while briefing the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the status of the mega water and power project.

He said the Chinese conditions were about taking ownership of the project, operation and maintenance cost and securitization of the Diamer-Bhasha project by pledging another operational dam. These conditions were unacceptable, therefore, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi approved a summary to finance the dam from the country’s own resources, he said.

The project will have the capacity to generate 4,500MW of electricity in addition to the storage capacity for six million acre feet of water, which the country desperately needs due to shrinking storages.

The Wapda chairman said the project cost would hover around $14 billion and the prime minister had agreed to split the scheme into dam storage and power generation.

Construction work on the dam site would begin next year and the government would complete it in nine years, he said. Work on the power generation site will begin two and a half years after the start of work on the dam.

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