Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has inaugurated construction of the country’s Diamer-Bhasha dam, the world’s highest, calling it the “lifeline” of Pakistan.
The $12 billion facility is located in the mountains between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces on the upper reaches of the Indus River. Gilani told the assembled guests that the Diamer-Bhasha dam would generate 4,500 megawatts of electricity and store over 8 million acres of water to meet country's growing power and irrigation need, Islamabad’s The News Online newspaper reported.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti said that the dam would open new vistas of agricultural and economic development in the impoverished, mountainous region.
According to Water and Power Development Authority official Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, WAPDA will build nine new villages to rehabilitate the people affected by the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam. Shah told journalists, “We will get sufficient water for agricultural sector from Diamer-Bhasha Dam and barren lands will be made cultivatable after its completion in eight years, while it will also help increase power generation capacity of Tarbela Dam,” adding that the government had decided to build two to three new small dams in every province under its poverty alleviation program.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com