LAHORE – Gilgit Baltistan Chief Secretary Sajjad Saleem Hotiana on Thursday had a meeting with Wapda Chairman Syed Raghib Shah to review the progress on Diamer Bhasha Dam Project.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman said that Diamer Bhasha Dam is a project of national as well as international importance, and the Government is implementing it as a priority project.

The project will not only store 8.1 million acre feet of water for agriculture but also provide about 20 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity to the National Grid besides mitigating floods, he added.The Chairman said that Wapda is committed to resolve all issues relating to construction of the project.

This priority project requires mutual cooperation of all stakeholders including Wapda and Government of Gilgit Baltistan.  The collective sense of responsibility will be instrumental in accelerating the pace of development on the

project. Coordination between the project authorities and the local administration will be enhanced for smooth implementation of the project, he further said.

 The Chairman assured the Chief Secretary that Wapda will strengthen the local administration vis-à-vis execution of this vital task. Sajjad Saleem proposed that meeting of the steering committee be held every month to review progress on the project – equally beneficial for socio-economic uplift of Gilgit Baltistan.

It was also agreed in the meeting that satellite imageries will be used for geographical mapping of the project area. The meeting was briefed that more than 14,000 kanals of private land have already been acquired for the project.

Moreover, the state-owned land required for the project will also be handed over to Wapda within two months. It is pertinent to mention that Wapda had transferred a sum of Rs.6.5 billion to Gilgit Baltistan for acquisition of land.