ISLAMABAD- The federal government in a meeting on Tuesday accorded approval to the Diamer Bhasha Dam worth $ 12.6 billion, and bids for the pre-qualification of the contractors would open by November 30. The Dam on completion would add 4,500megawatt electricity in the system, said Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf during press briefing on the Diamer Bhasha Dam project. The Minister said that government had also approved comprehensive plan for the families who could be displaced due to construction of the said dam and they would be paid the compensation. He informed that the said project would be completed in the next seven years. The Minister further said that project would benefit the country by providing electricity worth $ 1.5 billion per annum. He said that agriculture sector would get the benefit of $ 500 million annually. The Minister said that the project would help benefit the agriculture sector and there would be no power crisis in the country after the completion of the project. He said that during the president visit to China, the Chinese companies had taken interest in materializing the Diamer Bhasha dam project. The Minister further informed that Arab and European countries were also interested in the project and wanted to make the consortium for the completion of the project. He said that Pakistan required $ 1.5 billion per annum financing for the project. He said that 28,000 people, who would be affected as a result of construction of Bhasha dam, would be compensated. He said that the government had also decided that both North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Northern Areas would get the royalty as per their land rights. He further said that representatives of NWFP and Northern Areas had agreed on the said formula. The Minister said that government had chalked out a comprehensive strategy to initiate projects in power sector. The government would enhance the power generation capacity to 33,000 MW by 2015 and would require $ 30 billion in this regard. The public sector would provide $ 10 billion whereas private sector would be asked to generate $ 20 billion. The Minister said that country would need 1,16,000 MW electricity by 2030 as the power growth rate was increasing 7-8 percent annually.   He said that government was also looking for the alternative resources that included Thar coal, wind and solar energy and expedited the work on these projects. He also said that investors were taking interest in the Thar coal reserves and infrastructure was ready. While talking to media men, Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) said that acquiring land and resettlement plan of Bhasha dam would need Rs 60 billion, and 90 million would be spent on shifting the relics to the museum. He said that 30,000 relics had been identified at the place of the dam. He further said that limited companies would be chosen for the project. Meanwhile, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) Tuesday approved an allocation of Rs 60 billion for the upgradation of Karakoram Highway to facilitate the Diamir-Bhasha Dam for acquisition of land and resettlement of affectees. The ECNEC met here under the chairmanship of Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance, Shaukat Tarin. It took up the remaining agenda items of the last meeting of ECNEC presided over by the Prime Minister. The Council considered a number of development projects for approval in the field of energy, environment, supply of clean water, highways, and railways. The development projects considered for the approval are to be completed in all the four provinces, Northern Areas and AJK. The ECNEC also approved the reconstruction of projects of Rawalakot and Bagh cities, which were affected by the 2005 earthquake. The meeting also approved rehabilitation and widening of earthquake-affected road, Alpuiri-Besham section of N-90, which connects N-95 and N-235 highways. It discussed replacement of Railways signaling system for the Lodhran-Shahdaram sector, double gauge tracks for Mirpur Khas-Khokarapar and double railway track for Lodhran-Khanewal sector. In the communication sector, the ECNEC approved the 106-km road project for acquisition of land and procurement for Hasanabdal, Havalian, Mansehra Express Way. In the energy sector, ECNEC approved interconnection of independent power producers' with national grid to ensure generation of additional 1600 MW of electricity. The project would be executed on self-finance basis. The meeting also approved power distributions enhancement project to reduce energy/line losses. In the water sector, the ECNEC approved capacity building and advisory services project, in principle and advised Ministry of Water and Power to initiate the process. ECNEC also approved establishment of Environment Monitoring System. The meeting approved in principle, the communication for effective social service delivery, initially in 18 out of 24 districts of NWFP at a total cost of Rs 565 million.