Prime Minister inaugurates construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam
Prime Minister Sayed Yousuf Raza Gilani has laid the foundation stone of the Diamer-Bhasha dam on the Indus River, near Chilas. He cited that the $12 billion project will produce 4,500 megawatts of electricity and will have a storage capacity of over 8 million acre feet of water.
In the current power crisis throughout the country, Diamer-Bhasha dam will greatly help to meet Pakistan’s future power and agricultural needs. It is a major step forward by Prime Minister Gilani’s government to sort out a permanent solution for power shortage in the country and it is appreciated by all.
Expressing his views at the foundation stone-laying ceremony, Prime Minister Gilani ensured everyone that the new project will not suffer the similar fate as the Kalabagh dam did. He stated that he has gone through several rounds of discussions with various quarters to certify that Diamer-Bhasha dam does not become a victim of political wrangling, as the Kalabagh dam went on to be.
Diamer-Bhasha dam will be the world’s highest concrete dam and its power generation will smooth out the load shedding problems in the country. Prime Minister Gilani also rendered his thanks to all those local natives who will have to sacrifice their inherited land for a great national cause.
Gilani also expressed that his government is carrying forward the vision of the late prime ministers, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, and this project was the result of their vision. He also admired the people and the political leadership of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir for their unanimous stand in the favour for initiating the Diamer-Bhasha dam.
Regarding the compensation for the deprival of land from the local natives, Gilani told that a committee of competent personnel was established, which has estimated the fair values the amount to be given. Any further issues rising will be resolved by mutual discussions with the local leadership.
It was further told that China will construct 165-km Jaglot-Skardu and 135-km Jaglot-Sazin roads as well. The Prime Minister announced Rs.300 million grant for the welfare of the people of Diamer and cited a setup of engineering faculty in the region, which will be further upgraded to an engineering university.