ISLAMABAD - Terming Indian objection towards the construction of Diamir-Basha dam irrelevant, frivolous and ridiculous Chairman Wapda, Lt Gen Retd Muzammil Hussain, has said “we are building dam within our territory,”.

He was addressing a joint press conference with Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda and Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing.Minister Faisal Vawda said the contractors and machinery had reached Chilas city in the Gilgit-Baltistan to formally begin construction work.The minister said the project had full support of armed forces, strategic services division and government of China.Vawda said it was second mega project started within a year as the Mohmand Dam was started about a year ago and the construction work was in full swing.

The minister said that Diamer-Basha dam would game changer for the country. The project would generate about 16,500 jobs and reinvigorate cement, steel and transport sectors as about 1,000 truck would daily move on the roads to supply material to the dam site.

This project will generate about 16,500 jobs

Wapda chairman Muzammil Hussain said the total estimated cost of the project was about Rs1.407trillion. He said the cost of power generation facility was estimated at Rs751bn but that would be required at a later stage.

Chairman Wapda said the government would meet about 30 percent or Rs406 billion share of the total project cost while remaining Rs997 billion or 70 percent would be arranged by Wapda through Rs100 billion equity besides commercial financing and issuance of Eurobonds etc. He said the key target was that the project is commissioned by 2028 and ensure its completion within approved costs.The main purpose of the project was water storage and generating 4,500 MW of cheap electricity.He said 6.4 MAF water storage capacity of the damwould cut down the shortage by almost half. Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said He said the Chinese contractor was the most experienced public sector company of this field and had to its credit the construction of Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest power station in terms of installed capacity of 22,500 MW.