- Expresses hope authorities would be able to complete the project by 2026-27
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday called for closer coordination to complete the Diamer-Bhasha dam by 2026-27, ahead of its deadline, and attract foreign investors for the project, Aaj News reported.
“I will still insist and persist that please go into the timeline again and see where we can cut corners and if we can advance its date from 2029 to let’s say 2026 or 2027. It will be a miracle. We will achieve it … it’s possible. Nothing is impossible in this world provided we put our act together and move forward in unison,” the premier said in his speech during a visit to the Diamer-Bhasha dam site.
Shehbaz expressed hope that the authorities involved in the project would be able to complete the project as early as possible.
“Dams will help the economy, irrigate lands, and overcome flash floods. This will also help in providing opportunities and making Pakistan progressive,” Shehbaz said.
The premier advised the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) to coordinate the project's work with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), adding that international investors should come forward to support the project.
“Nine people were martyred and 72 people died because of Covid during the construction of the dam. It is good that despite such tragedies we are seeing life here,” he said, adding: “It will be a milestone in Pakistan if we lead this work by working together as it is important for giving life to Pakistan.”
Shehbaz said that Pakistan can save around 125-130 million acre-feet of water every year if the country can build adequate storage facilities.
“We are only able to save 25-30 million acre-feet of water. It’s our fault whether it was civilian or dictatorship, we should learn from the past and save this God’s gift.”
Last year, the outgoing government acquired 32,073 acres of land for the Diamer Basha Dam project.
The acquired land is around 90 percent of the total required 35,924 acres of land for the project.
The official information had revealed that the total estimated cost of the Diamer Basha Dam project is Rs1.406 trillion which includes PC-I (acquisition of land & resettlement is Rs175.436 billion, PC-I Dam Part is Rs479.686 billion while the cost for PC-I Power Generation Facilities yet to be approved is Rs751 billion).