700m released for Diamer-Basha dam land acquisition

LAHORE, Oct. 11 (APP)- Federal government has released an initial amount of Rs 700 million to WAPDA for acquisition of land in Gilgit-Baltistan for construction of the dam.  The amount has been handed to Deputy Commissioner, Diamer for the purpose.The ground-breaking ceremony of WAPDA offices and colonies of the dam is expected next month. This was stated in a meeting between Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah and WAPDA Chairman Shakil Durrani, who visited the project site, according Wapda spokesman here Monday.The Chief Minister referring to water and hydropower potential of Gilgit-Baltistan, said that development of these resources by constructing Diamer Basha and other projects would not only play a pivotal role for strengthening the national economy but also pave the way for socio-economic uplift of the area.

WAPDA Chairman said that Diamer Basha dam, the largest project ever executed in the country’s history, would store 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) water and generate 4500 megawatt (MW) of low-cost hydel electricity on completion.  In addition to providing water for agriculture, the project will also contribute 18 billion units of electricity per annum to the national grid, he added.
Besides Diamer Basha dam, Satpara, Bunji, Dasu, Shyok and other water & hydropower projects, located in GB, were also discussed in the meeting. The Chief Minister assured that GB government would extend optimum support and cooperation to WAPDA in execution of projects in the area.
The Chairman also presented a cheque of Rs 500,000 to the Chief Minister as additional donation for the flood/rain victims in the Chillas area. WAPDA has already spent about Rs 2.5 million on the relief activities in the areas adjacent to Diamer Basha Dam project and provided a cash donation of Rs 50 million.
During his two-day tour, Durrani also visited Bunji hydropower project as well as Shyok and Satpara dams. Senior USAID officials also accompanied him during the visit.
The General Managers concerned briefed the Chairman of the progress made on the projects. It was told that feasibility study of 7100-MW Bunji hydropower project had already been completed, while seismic studies and detailed engineering design of the project would take another 18 months.
The main dam of Satpara project is complete and consequently, the reservoir was filled up to 85% of its capacity this summer. The construction work on the irrigation system and power house 3&4 is underway, it added.  The Chairman directed that remaining works of Satpara dam project be completed in the shortest possible time in view of its significance for the area, as it would irrigate more than 15,500 acres land in Skardu and its suburbs and generate about 17 MW hydel electricity.
The Chairman was briefed that Shyok dam, with an estimated gross storage capacity of 7.2 MAF, located on River Shyok, 59 kilometre upstream of Skardu, had been included in part III schemes of WAPDA’s Vision 2025 – App