ISLAMABAD – The government of China has offered Islamabad to include the 4,500MW Diamer-Basha dam project under the umbrella of multi-billion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
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The offer was confirmed by Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Muzammil Hussain on Monday who told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reform that the project was pending due to Asian Development Bank’s refusal to provide funds in 2016 saying the project was located in a disputed territory.
He said currently no mega-hydel project was included in CPEC, therefore, governments of Pakistan and China were seriously mulling over including the Diamer-Bhasha project in CPEC.
The official expressed that PC-1 of the project had already been completed and 85% land acquisition had also been made by the government. However, fund allocation for the project, which needed around $14.49 billion, was a serious issue.
The Wapda chairman told the committee that other hydel power projects including Neelum-Jhelum and Tarbela extension would be completed by May 2018, which would provide an additional 2,500MW of electricity.
“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,” he said.
The committee was apprised that work on the Dasu project which will help produce 2,500MW would start by next month and it would be completed by 2022.
Earlier, the planning secretary informed the committee that independent project directors would be appointed for those projects which were approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec).
The committee recommended that the ministry may provide a complete list of the project directors to the committee for its assessment.-APP