ISLAMABAD-The government is likely to award the contract for the Main Dam & Allied Structures of Diamer Bhasha dam within next few weeks.

A meeting to review the progress of Diamer Bhasha dam was held here with Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar in chair.

The meeting was informed that work on Diamer Basha Dam Project was underway and an expenditure of Rs. 99.238 billion was incurred on the project till February 2020. This includes Rs. 93.9 billion for land acquisition for the project.

Diamer Basha Dam Project is located on Indus River near Chilas (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & Gilgit-Baltistan), 315 km u/s from Tarbela Dam and about 40 km downstream of Chilas Town. The estimated cost of the project is around $14 billion and it will have a gross water storage capacity of 8.1 MAF and power generation capacity of 4500 MW.

Official source told The Nation that the meeting was asked for provision of supplementary grant of Rs 21 billion for land acquisition and construction related work.

It was further informed that WAPDA intends to award the contract for the Main Dam & Allied Structures within the next few weeks, to start the construction activities within the current financial year. Further expenditure of around Rs. 61 billion is planned during the current financial year. This includes Rs 22 billion on resettlement and Rs 39 billion on construction related activities.

All the contracts will be awarded till June 2022 and work on the both dam portion and electro mechanical will be completed by 2028.

The Dam part of the project is expected to be completed by September 2027, while the overall completion of the project including the power generation is expected in March 2028.

The meeting was further informed that Prime Minister- Supreme Court Dam Fund has an amount of Rs. 12.17 billion, available with it, which is currently invested in MTBs.

The minister directed the relevant officials to make sure that the work on the project progresses as per the timelines.

The cost of Diamer Basha Dam Project Acquisition of Land and Resettlement has increased by 184.35 percent from Rs 60 billion to 170 billion. Originally the project for land acquisition for Bhasha dam was approved in 2008 with the cost of Rs60.051 billion, which was upward revised to 101.372 billion in 2015 and now it has been once again upward revised to Rs170,756 billion, the source maintained.