|Construction began||18 October 2011|
|Opening date||2023 (est.)|
|Construction cost||USD 14 billion (2013 est.)|
|Dam and spillways|
|Type of dam||Gravity, roller-compacted concrete|
|Height||272 m (892 ft)|
|Total capacity||10,000,000,000 m3 (8,107,132 acre⋅ft)|
|Active capacity||7,900,000,000 m3 (6,404,634 acre⋅ft)|
|Turbines||12 x 375 MW|
|Installed capacity||4,500 MW|
|Annual generation||19.028 TWh (est.)|
Diamer-Bhasha Dam is a concrete-filled gravity dam, in the preliminary stages of construction, on the River Indus in Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan. Its foundation stone was laid by the then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of Pakistan under President Zardari regime on 18 October 2011. Upon completion, Diamer-Bhasha Dam would be the highest roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dam in the world. The dam site is situated near a place called "Bhasha" in Gilgit-Baltistan's Diamer District, hence the name.
Upon completion, Diamer-Bhasha Dam would (i) produce 4,500 megawatts of electricity through environmentally clean hydro-power generation; (ii) store an extra 8,500,000 acre feet (10.5 km3) of water for Pakistan that would be used for irrigation and drinking; (iii) extend the life of Tarbela Dam located downstream by 35 years; and (iv) control flood damage by the River Indus downstream during high floods.
However, in response to using Basha Dam to sideline the Kalabagh Dam, Engineer Anwer Khurshid has stated that "Bhasha dam is no substitute for Kalabagh dam not because of its altitude which is high enough, but because no irrigation canals can be taken out from it because of the hilly terrain. No canals can be taken out from any dam on the Indus except from Kalabagh Dam."
It will have a height of 272 meters spillway with fourteen gates each 11.5 m x 16.24 m. The gross capacity of the reservoir will be 8,100,000 acre feet (10.0 km3), with a live storage of 6,400,000 acre feet (7.9 km3). Two underground powerhouses are being proposed, one on each side of the main dam having six turbines on each side with a total installed capacity of 4500 MW.
In January 2006, the Government of Pakistan under President Pervez Musharraf announced the decision to construct 5 multi-purpose storage dams in the country during next 10–12 years. According to the plan, the Diamer-Bhasha Dam project was proposed to be built in the first phase. In November 2008, the Executive Committee of National Economic Council formally approved the project. Council of Common Interests Pakistan, a constitutional body representing the provinces, also approved the construction of the dam. The Prime Minister of Pakistan laid the foundation stone of the project on 18 October 2011.
Construction and Financial Matters
In November 2008, the cost of the Diamer-Bhasha dam was estimated at $12.6 billion. and it will have a storage capacity of 8,100,000 acre feet (10.0 km3). However, it will have a power generation capacity of 4,500 megawatts.
An amount of Rs 27.824 billion is required for the acquisition of land & resettlement of the people to be affected in the wake of the construction of the dam. Under the proposed project, Rs 10.76 billion will be spent for the acquisition of agriculture-barren land, tree & nurseries and Rs 1.638 billion to be utilized for properties and infrastructure, Rs 8.8 billion for establishment of nine model villages, Rs 62.119 million for pay & allowances for administrative arrangements, and Rs.17.7 million for contingent administrative expenses. The project also includes an escalation cost of Rs 2.234 billion at the rate of 6 per cent per year for five years and interest of Rs 4.309 billion during the implementation at the rate of 9 per cent.
Detailed drawings of the dam were completed by March 2008. As of August 2012, the project faced several setbacks due to major sponsors backing out from financing the project, as World Bank and Asian Development Bank both refused to finance the project as according to them its location is in disputed territory and asked Pakistan to get a NOC from neighboring India.
On 20 August 2013, Finance Minister of Pakistan, Ishaq Dar claimed to have convinced the World Bank (WB) and the Aga Khan Development Network to finance the Diamer-Bhasha Project without the requirement of NOC from India. He also said that the Asian Development Bank, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme(AKRSP) and Aga Khan Foundation had agreed to become lead finance manager for the project.
On 27 August 2013, Pakistan's Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar said that work would start on both Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha Dams simultaneously. He also said that Diamer-Bhasha project would take 10–12 years to complete.
On November 7, 2013 the Chairman of WAPDA Syed Raghib Abbas Shah claimed that his department has received 17,000 acres of land at the cost of PKR 5.5 billion from Government of Gilgit-Baltistan and the Ismaili Community for the construction of the project.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on December 5 2016 approved, in principle, the financing plan for the Diamer-Bhasha dam and ordered the secretary of water and power to start physical work on the dam before the end of 2017.
On 14 November 2017, Pakistan dropped its bid to have the dam financed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework as China placed strict conditions including on the ownership of the project. China had projected the cost of the dam to be $14 billion and to secure its investment China wanted Pakistan to pledge another operational dam to it.
On July 4th, 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan directed the government to begin construction on the dam, as well as the Mohmand Dam, to resolve a water shortage. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar of the court gave a donation of 1 million Pakistani rupees for the construction of the two dams. And set up a fund for the construction of the dam. On July 6th, the government of Pakistan set up a fund for the construction of the Diamer Bhasha Dam. Fundraising through bank accounts and cellular companies was initiated for participation.
On 9th Sep 2018 a WAPDA Official have revealed that at least 12 billion dollars are required to build Diamer Bhasha Dam. 5 billion dollars are required to build infrastructure while another 7 billion dollars are required for the power generation.
On 1st Nov 2018 PM-CJP fund for Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dams which was opened in beginning of 3rd Quarter of 2018 i.e. in January 2019 its funds have reached USD 66.7 million (i.e. PKR 9.29 billion) approximately. The status is regularly updated on the Supreme Court of Pakistan website.
Diamir Bhasha dam is expected to start in April 2020 (1/5 land still to be acquired for reaching total required of 37500 Acres) and Bhasha Dam expected Completion is in 9 (Nine) years i.e. Apr 2029.
Mohmand Dam is expected to start in April 2019 and its expected Completion is in 6 years i.e. by 2025.
PM Imran Khan urged overseas Pakistanis to contribute to dam fund and donate generously (at least USD1000 per person) on an emergency basis due to possible shortage of water by 2025 that can lead to drought like situation in the country. In response many people committed to share in the Dams fund.
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.
- Main Dam:
- Maximum Height: 272 meters
- Type: roller compacted concrete (RCC)
- Diversion System:
- Tunnels: 2
- Canals: 1
- Cofferdam: Upstream and Downstream
- Main Spillway:
- Gates: 9
- Size: 16.5×15.0 m
- Reservoir Level: 1160 m
- Min Operation Level Elevation: 1060 m
- Gross Capacity: 7,300,000 acre feet (9.0 km3)
- Live Capacity: 6,400,000 acre feet (7.9 km3)
- Intermediate Level:8
- Low Level: 4
- Estimated Cost: US $14 Billion (2013 Estimate)
Purpose and function
The main purpose of the dam is water storage, irrigation and generation of electricity
- store huge water for Pakistani next Gen.
- Production of 4,500 megawatts of electricity by harnessing the water.
- Storage of an extra 8,500,000 acre feet (10.5 km3) of water for Pakistan that would be used for irrigation and drinking
- Extend the life of Tarbela Dam located downstream by 35 years
- Control flood damage by the River Indus downstream during high floods
- Availability of about 6,400,000 acre feet (7.9 km3) annual surface face water storage for supplementing irrigation supplies during low flow periods.
- Harnessing of renewable source of clean and cheap energy through installed capacity of 4500 MW
- Reduction of dependence on environmentally damaging thermal power
- Short and long term employment opportunities, particularly to locals, during the construction (15,000 jobs) and operation phase
- Creation of massive infrastructure leading to overall socio-economic uplift of the area and standard of living of people
Environmental impact and resettlement
• Villages affected: 31
• Houses affected: 4,100
• Population affected: 35,000
• Agricultural land submerged: 1,500 acres (6.1 km2)
• Area under reservoir: 25,000 acres (100 km2)
• Proposed new settlements: 9 model villages
• Population resettled: 28,000
• New infrastructure, roads, clean water supply schemes, schools, health centres, electricity supply, etc.
• Development of new tourism industry in area around reservoir (including hotels, restaurants, water sports, etc.)
• Development of hitherto non-existent fresh-water fishing industry based on newly created reservoir
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