Asian Development Bank mission discusses Diamer Basha Dam financial plan with Wapda

Lahore: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Consultation Mission, headed by the Director Energy Division Rune Stroem, visited WAPDA House on Thursday and had a meeting with WAPDA Chairman Shakil Durrani and Members of the Authority to discuss the matters relating to financing Diamer Basha Dam Project. Experts from the USAID and the project consultants were also present.

In his welcome remarks, Chairman said that WAPDA is implementing several projects to cope with the increasing demand of water and electricity in the country. Among the projects, he said, 4500 MW-Diamer Basha Dam is vital, as this mega project will usher in accelerated socio-economic development in Pakistan. He further said that WAPDA looks forward to a close cooperation of the international financial institutions, the ADB in particular, to implement this mega project.

ADB Director Energy Division, appreciating the progress made so far on Diamer Basha Dam Project, said that the technical preparation of the project is quite impressive. Since the project is a major one, there are challenges as well. The issues relating to resettlement of the affectees and the environment need further study with international consultants. However, we hope to tackle these challenges in close coordination with each other, he added.

During the briefing, the ADB Mission was informed that the US $ 12 billion Diamer Basha Dam is a multi-purpose project with the objectives to store water for irrigation, mitigate floods and generate low-cost and environment-friendly hydel electricity.

On completion, the project will store 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) of water besides generating 4500 MW electricity. The project will add about 20 billion units of electricity annually to the national grid. The annual benefits of the project have been estimated at about US $ 2.3 billion, it was further told.

The Mission was informed that a sum of Rs.18 billion has been allocated in PSDP for the project during the current fiscal year. As many as 1260 acres of land have so far been acquired for construction of WAPDA offices, contractor’s camp, colonies and infrastructure in the project area. The delegation was also briefed about the resettlement and financial plans of the project.

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