Gilgit - Baltistan

Diamer Dam: Action plan for conservation of rock carvings to be developed in 6 months

LAHORE: Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) on Friday inked an agreement with Heidelberg Academy’s Institute for Rock Carvings and Inscriptions along the Karakoram Highway to formulate a cultural heritage management plan for Diamer Bhasha Dam Project.

Chairman WAPDA said Diamer Bhasha Dam Multi-purpose Project was vital for economy of our country. In addition to taking all possible measures for initiating construction work on the main project in the shortest possible time, WAPDA is equally focused to implement Resettlement Action Plan including conservation of the cultural heritage of the project area in line with international safeguard policies, he said.

Underlining the significance of the project region in terms of its unique cradling of the pre-historic rock carvings and diverse cultures which exists there, he said WAPDA in collaboration with the firm of international repute such as Heidelberg Academy’s Institute for Rock Carvings and Inscriptions along the Karakoram Highway has decided to devise a deeply thought out action plan to conserve this unique heritage and enable the local populace to gain economic benefits from its conservation. The formulation of cultural heritage management plan in a period of six months will provide an appropriate line of action for conservation of the area to be affected by Diamer Basha Dam Project, he added.

Federal government through WAPDA is implementing Diamer Bhasha Dam as a priority project. For the multi billion dollar project, acquisition of land, development of infrastructure in the project area and implementation of social action plan including construction of a model village for the displaced populace and other steps leading towards their socio-economic development are continuing side by side. Special emphasis is being laid on resettlement action plan, prepared in accordance with international safeguard policies and guidelines. A sum of Rs 68 billion has been earmarked for providing social services to the affectees, Rs 42 billion for acquisition of land and Rs 8 billion for compensation of other assets etc.

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  1. The history of Gilgit Baltistan is hidden under the rocks of Karakoram ,Hindukush and Himalya range.Unfortunately as a nation we have failed to promote the culture of research in the fields of anthropology and civilization.The rock curving in Diameer and Hunza valley are an important remains of our history and every efforts needs to be made to preserve the ancient history of the region.I suggest to develop a rock museum in Gilgit Baltistan under the supervision of UNESCO and international agencies.

  2. Karakoram Highway lead to China border parallel to Indus River on the way it also passes through a backward and remote area of Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa province called Kohistan District- land of mountains and ferries where Dasu Hydropower project to be constructed under financial support of World Bank. The proposed Dasu Hydropower Project (the Project) is a run of river project. Once completed, it will contribute 4,320 MW to the current acute power shortage in Pakistan. The Project will also lead to social, economic and industrial development of this undeveloped and remote project area in Kohistan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province. The area of influence of the reservoir and dam construction includes both banks of the River Indus covering an area of 23.85 sq. km at an elevation of 950m above the sea level. In the entire district there are some cultural heritages i.e. 300years old Seo Mosque, Gayal Mosque and Karang Mosque and some carving near Shatial on main KKH toward Gilgit Baltistan Province

  3. The name of proposed dame is Basha-Diameer dam and the revenue will be shared by both the KPK and GB provinces.The cultural heritage site could be shared by two provinces of Pakistan.

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