Prime Minister lays foundation stone of Diamir Basha Dam

CHILAS: In a historic development, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of Diamir Basha Dam at a ceremony in Chilas, Gilgit Baltistan.

The dam which is the largest in the country and the highest roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam in the world has been dedicated to the vision of first Muslim female Prime Minister Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani described Diamer Basha dam as a lifeline for the country’s economy and future generations.

He said the start of work on the dam is a momentous day in the country’s history that will greatly help meet the electricity crisis.

He said the project which will help add 4500 MW of electricity to the national grid will also extend the life of Tarbela Dam located in downstream by thirty five years. He said work on the dam has been started after developing consensus among all the federating units and the political parties. In this regard, he specially acknowledged the contributions of the chief ministers of four provinces for supporting the federal government.

For the development schemes in Diamer district, the prime minister announced 200 million rupees.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan said there is great potential of electricity generation through hydel and by exploring it we can add forty thousand MW of electricity to the national grid. He said the completion of Diamer Basha will not only help meet the electricity crisis but also strengthen our economy.

Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar said the construction of Diamer Basha dam will usher in a new era of progress and development in the country.

He said the annual average benefit from the project shall be 1.79 billion dollars from electricity revenues and 0.62 billion dollars from irrigation. On completion it will help save 2.85 billion dollars in foreign exchange per annum and the dam will return its cost in a short period of time.

Chairman Wapda Shakil Durrani said that Diamer Basha dam to be completed at a cost of twelve billion dollars and will help store over eight million acre feet of water. The dam will be completed in seven to eight years. It will provide jobs to fifteen thousand local people.

Leave a Reply