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Diamer Bhasha Dam

  • Dr. Shahid Wazir Khan
  • Aug, 2018
  • 715
  • National

Keeping in view the impending water crisis, Pakistani nation has girded up its loins to build the Diamer Bhasha Dam. For this purpose the Chief Justice of Pakistan took initiative and armed forced followed suit by donating fund from their salaries.

It would not be wrong to say that there is no life without water and there would soon be no water without storage. Much has been said about water crisis in Pakistan. It is time to take steps in this regard.  The differences over the construction of dams and the lack of water storage capacity are inflicting an annual loss of $3.5 billion to the national economy. The dismal storage capacity of eight per cent, water disputes and differences over mega dams have inflicted a loss of around billions of dollars to the country. Pakistan's water storage capacity is just for 30 days against the minimum requirement of 120 days while most of the developed countries have 1-2 years water storage capability. At present Pakistan is in dire need to double its water storage capacity to at least 28 million acre feet (MAF) of water from existing 14 MAF increasing the storage capacity from 10 to 20 percent of total water flows. Owing to our negligence and lack of decision making power, India has constructed 171 dams in occupied Kashmir to generate 28,000 MW of cheap electricity.

Keeping in view the impending water crisis, Pakistani nation has girded up its loins to build the Diamer Bhasha Dam. For this purpose the Chief Justice of Pakistan took initiative and armed forced followed suit by donating fund from their salaries. The project is located on Indus River, about 315 km upstream of Tarbela Dam, 165 km downstream of the Northern Area capital Gilgit and 40 km downstream of Chilas. The Council of Common Interests (CCI) has already taken unanimous decisions to develop the Bhasha dam and Mohmand dam. The government has announced that the construction work on these two dams would start in the ongoing fiscal year. Diamer-Bhasha Dam Project has a gross water storage capacity of 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) and power generation capacity of 4,500 megawatts (MW). Mohmand Dam Hydropower Project will store 1.2 MAF water and generate 800MW electricity. The 1,410MW Tarbela 5th Extension, the 2160MW-Stage II of Dasu, the 7100MW-Bunji and the Stage II of multipurpose KurramTangi Dam are among the ready-for-construction projects.

According to the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor,  the  officers of the Pakistan armed forces will contribute to the fund announced for the construction of the DiamerBhasha and Mohmand Dam. Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted, "Pakistan Armed Forces contributing to Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund. Officers of Pak Army, Navy and Air Force will contribute their two days' pay while soldiers one day's pay to the announced fund for this national cause".

It was none other but honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar who announced recently to set up the fund for building the dam. He has vowed to not let anyone misappropriate the funds being collected for construction of dams to resolve the country's water crisis. The Supreme Court has also appealed to the public to collect funds for immediate construction of Bhasha and Mohmand dams.

Chief Justice Mr. Saqib Nisar has himself set the example by donating Rs1 million to the said account. The Ministry of Finance opened an account titled “DIAMER BASHA AND MOHMAND DAM FUND–2018”, under the Supreme Court's order. It bears account No. 03-593-299999-001-4 and IBN No. PK06SBPP0035932999990014. Overseas Pakistanis play very important role for the development of Pakistan through their remittances. Their contributions will be received at Pakistani missions and remitted to the SBP, which will prescribe necessary accounting procedures.

Following the footsteps of Chief Justice of Pakistan and Armed forces, the Officers of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government has also announced to donate their three-day salary to the fund for the purpose. A cheque of Rs 0.5million for the fund has also been signed by Punjab's caretaker Chief Minister Hasan Askari. 

At this juncture, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain raised a question which must be answered the people from power corridors. He said that Bhasha Dam was inaugurated in 2006; before its inclusion in the election manifesto, the former ruling party should explain to the nation why the project was blocked for 10 years. Nobody would deny this fact that delay in this project has kept a very bad effect on our economy. No doubt, water scarcity has become an issue of national security for Pakistan. He appreciated the Chief Justice of Pakistan's (CJP) order for the im...

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