ISLAMABAD          -        Chinese scholar Prof. Cheng Xizhong has said the Diamer-Bhasha Dam, which is termed Pakistan’s ‘Three Gorges Dam’ will play an important role in the country’s overall socio-economic development.

“After successful construction, Diamer-Bhasha Dam, 272 meters high, will become another large hydropower project in Pakistan after Tarbela and Mangla hydropower projects,” said the Chinese scholar in an article carried by Gwadar Pro on Friday.

The Bhasha Dam construction will be jointly undertaken by Frontier Works Organization (FWO) of Pakistan and Power Construction Corporation of China. It is planned to be completed in 2028 with a total installed capacity of 4.5 million kilowatts, which can deliver 18 billion kilowatts of electricity to the national grid every year.

According to Cheng, for many years, construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam in Pakistan has been an issue of public concern.

In 2013, the WAPDA had issued a request for proposal to American, British, German companies, and after that, also asked the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the United States and China for financing assistance.

In July 2018, Pakistan established a fund to raise funds for the project at home and abroad. Some years ago, some Pakistani officials suggested that this project might be included in the list of CPEC.

In his view the projects entering the list of the CPEC need sufficient preliminary feasibility studies. 

In the absence of feasibility and technical studies, the two sides were unable to have specific project discussions, nor could the project be included in the CPEC list.

Diamer-Bhasha Dam will be the largest water conservancy project in Pakistan. 

When construction is completed, it will be the world’s highest and largest roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam project, known as Pakistan’s “Three Gorges”.

The Chinese scholar further said that the construction of Diamer-Bhasha hydropower project will be conducive to local drought and waterlogging prevention and improvement of hydrological environment, produce a large amount of low-cost and environment-friendly electricity and promote the local economic development and improve living conditions of the local people.