Pakistan’s National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reform was informed on Monday that China had offered to bring Diamer-Bhasha dam project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Express Tribune reported. “The project with 4,500MW installed capacity has been pending since long due to the fact that earlier in 2006, the Asian Development Bank committed to funding the project, however, after 10 years, it declined to provide funds, saying the project was located in a disputed territory,” Muzammil Hussain, chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) was quoted as saying to the committee.
He said the decision to mull over the inclusion the Diamer-Bhasha project was taken considering the fact that currently no mega hydel project was included in the CPEC.
Muzammil Hussain added that the ‘PC-1’ phase of the project had already been completed and the Pakistan government had already made 85 per cent land acquisition for the project. However, the WAPDA chairman said that fund allocation was an issue. Addressing the committee members, Hussain also said that other hydel power projects such as Neelum-Jhelum and Tarbela extension would be completed by May 2018. He added that by March 2018, work on the 800 MW Mohmand Dam and power project will be initiated.
“This is a multi-purpose project, which will not only provide electricity and water for irrigation, but will also supply drinking water to Peshawar in addition to mitigating the danger of floods in Nowshera,” Hussain said.