Like several other mega projects in various sectors, Diamer-Bhasha dam has also been in boiling pot for some years for various reasons mainly being financial resources availability, delay in land acquisition ,local issues as well as political apathy. 

It is good to note that the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in its just held meeting in Islamabad under chairmanship of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbas has approved the Diamer Basha Dam project (only dam component) at a total rationalized cost of Rs 474000 million. 

The roller compacted Diamir-Bhasha dam is located on Indus river about 315 kilometers upstream of Tarbela dam and 165 km downstream of Gilgit and 40 km of Chilas and on completion will be highest earth-filled dam in the world, and is scheduled to be completed in ten years. 

According to the reports the Diamer-Bhasha dam is expected to provide 6.4 million acres feet (MAF) live storage capacity with installed power generation capacity of 4500 megawatt of cheap and clean energy. 

After completion, the project will hopefully increase national water storage capacity of Pakistan from 38 days to 45 days and will also enhance life span on downstream reservoirs including Tarbela Dam. 

While appreciating all this, the incumbent federal government will be creating a history if much criticized more on political grounds then technical, condemned and discarded multi-purpose Kalabagh dam is revived with renewed efforts for evolving national consensus among the federating units by removing their reservations and apprehensions on priority basis as time is fast running out of our hands and precious water is being wasted due to lack of additional major storage facility. All the federating units should give due consideration to the national interests over and above everything else, revisit Kalabagh dam and build it. 


Rawalpindi, April 18.