Gilgit-Baltistan satisfied with Diamer-Bhasha Dam Project, says WAPDA Chief

ISLAMABAD: In a major development, the World Bank, which had earlier refused to provide funding for the Diamer-Bhasha Dam, arguing it was situated in a disputed area as claimed by India, has now given indications that it is ready to provide financing for some components of the mega project. The Asian Development Bank, however, will continue to be the biggest donor, Wapda Chairman Shakil Durrani told journalist here on Tuesday.

The ADB had set four conditions to fund the project that include: 1) seeking national consensus for the Diamer-Bhasha Dam; ii) assurance in procurement transparency in line with the procurement rules of WB and ADB; iii) No forcible acquisition of land for the project and iv) the resettlement action plan to the satisfaction of the ADB.

Durrani said that the CCI had approved the project with consensus and no federating unit had any objection to the project. Even Gilgit-Baltistan has raised no objection. “We have assured transparency in procurements, which will be in line with the procurement laws of WB and ADB.”
“During the recent Pak-US Strategic Dialogue in Washington, we received some signals from the World Bank’s top management that it was ready to provide finances for some components of the mega project,” he said.

He said with the completion of this project, having live storage capacity of 6.4 MAF and electricity generating capacity of 4,500MW, Pakistan will get the dividends of $1.5 billion per annum in the shape of cheap hydro power and half-a-billion dollars in the shape of water storage that will be used for irrigating more land.

“We have carved out a plan that will be initiated in the next five years to harness hydro generation up to 20,000MW.” He mentioned that the country could get the cheapest 7,000MW of electricity from the Bunji Dam and 4,300MW by constructing the Dasu Dam. Through completion of the Neelum-Jehlum hydropower project, the country will get an additional 969MW and a further 1,100MW by constructing the Kohala hydropower project.

The Bunji Dam will be completed at a cost of $10-11 billion and the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has accorded approval to the feasibility study of the project under which a 3-kilometre tunnel will be excavated to ensure protection to the dam in case of an earthquake.

Coming to the $11.3 billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Durrani disclosed: “We have almost completed the four safeguards (terms and conditions) of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank to qualify for its credit line for the mega project.”

He said the ADB had sought the report of resettlement issue that they had prepared. A panel of consultants will examine and fine-tune it. “To this effect, ADB will send its fact-finding mission to examine the report. Prequalification of various contractors and consultants will be made next year.”

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  1. Joseph Goebbels the Reich minister and chief Nazi propagandist must be turning in his graves to hear this great white lie that has been told to ADB, World Bank, and of course to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. These self-appointed mandarins who have been at the helm of affairs in Islamabad have played havoc with our destiny. Who have invested them with so much absolute power? When are we going to finally let them know that the inhabitants of Gilgit-Baltistan are no livestock to be herded in one direction or the other? Where is our civil society, where are the massive investments and efforts of our NGOs who so loudly claim to have nurtured and fostered a strong civil society. Indeed the government functionaries have no choice but to acquiesce in this situation but where is the free media, where are the educated people of GB. Why are we not resisting this? Why are we not asking questions?
    We should not tolerate this injustice any more now. It is about time that our people should now will to come to streets and let the powers that be, know about what we want. To begin with, PT blog can start a Facebook campaign Mushraff style to leverage the activism of the youth, every single youth in this process of joining must spend at least half an hour to know basic facts about Bhasha dam, its construction and consequences for us and so on. Our young generation should now hold the torch and show the path to the old. Our predecessors have dissipated their energies in fruitless and low-paying jobs in Karachi, Islamabad, or elsewhere. Now we need to create indigenous opportunities and this can only be done if we stick together and resist the impositions of the Pakistani government.

    Trangfa Maujood
    Shishper Meadows

  2. Though this will prove how protagonist, passionate, competency our leadership are to handle such critical issues because the problem after interference of India is the royalty of the dam. This dam will be constructed in junction between GB and Khyber Pakthon Kha, so the area upstream which will submerge by the water storage pertains to GB & if the royalty is not given to GB then it will create problem for the people of GB.
    The safeguard conditions which the GB leadership has to deal with are
    1) Complete royalty of the dam should be given to GB.
    2) Complete and fair compensation not only for the submerged area but also for those areas which will be effected by its side effect i.e it will increase the ratio of rain falling the whole region which may cause landsliding etc
    3) complete safety measure should be ensure in case of earthquake because the whole region lies in red zone.

  3. None of the four condition by the ADB were addressed by the Government functionaries. It is feared that the people of GB will be cheated by the authorities as the people at the helms of affairs of WAPDA will be those who have to safeguard their province, KPK.

    KPK is interested in this project because it has nothing to lose and get the full royalty of the project because Gilgit Baltistan does not exist in the constitution of Pakistan. It is nothing but a lollypop for the people of GB and will be getting a piece of a peanut because the type of leadership planted in GB have no vision, say, competency, expertise and above all any sympathy for the people of GB.

  4. People of GB are busy in settling the scores with each other ,The time is critical ,if we do not fight now for our due royalty of the dam our genrations will suffer .Since we can not identify and strive for the Real issues ,we are back ward & poor. need not to mention the brain drain we are already suffering , Other wise this region is one of the wealthiest in the world.

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