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Govt seeks Bhasha Dam inclusion in CPEC

ISLAMABAD: China and Pakistan are likely to discuss incorporation of 4500MW Diamir Bhasha Dam in CPEC projects in the upcoming Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting.

Regarding Pakistan’s demand for the inclusion of Diamir Bhasha dam in CPEC, a meeting via video conferencing between the officials of Pakistan and China was held here Thursday.
Earlier, in the 5th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting, Pakistan proposed China to include Diamir Bhasha Dam in CPEC project.

“We have requested Chinese to incorporate Diamir Bhasha in the CPEC projects, and we are in constant touch with them,” an official of the Ministry of Planning told The Nation.

The official said that it is too early to say anything as today there was a video connection between the officials of the government of Pakistan and China where they have discussed the inclusion of Bhasha Dam in CPEC.

A meeting in this regard was held in the Ministry of the Ministry of water and Power and was attended by the official of the planning ministry and other concerned departments, the official informed.

Faced with the difficulty of finding funds for the 4,500MW project, the government had decided to divide it into separate components of dam and power generation projects.

“We have discussed various aspect of the dam and now the Chinese will decide which component of the project they are interested in,” the official said.

Now the matter will be discussed between China and Pakistan in the 6th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of CPEC, the official confirmed.

With a storage capacity of about 8 million-acre feet (MAF) and projected electricity generation of 4,500MWs, Diamer-Bhasha, to be constructed in Gilgit Baltistan, will cost 14 billion dollars.
A total of 32 villages with a collective population of 25,000 people will be affected due to the construction of the dam.

The total investment under the first phase of the CPEC will be $46 billion and the investment will increase as the CPEC progresses.
If China agrees to the proposal, for the incorporation of Bhasha in CPEC, the project would be included in the next phase of the energy projects under the CPEC.

Currently energy projects of about $38 billion are being undertaken as part of CPEC in the first phase.

Source: The Nation

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