WAPDA on track to divert Indus River for Diamer-Bhasha Dam by November 2023

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Jun 08, 2023

LAHORE: The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is on track to divert the Indus River for the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam Project by November 2023, a statement said on Wednesday. The authority will construct a 1 km-long tunnel and 0.8 km-long canal for the diversion, the statement said.Terming it a major development in construction of the dam, a Wapda spokesperson said, after the diversion, Indus River would flow through the diversion system and rejoin its natural course downstream of the main dam site. River diversion is one of the key activities for implementation of the mega multi-purpose project.

WAPDA chairman Engr Lt Gen Sajjad Ghani (Retd) was apprised of the development during his visit to Diamer Basha Dam, being constructed on Indus River, 40-Km downstream of Chilas town. The construction work is progressing on 13 different sites.The upstream starter (coffer) dam to facilitate river diversion under stage-1 has been completed, while work on downstream starter (coffer) dam is going on and expected to be completed by November for stage-1 diversion, according to WAPDA statement.

The chairman was also briefed about progress on the diversion canal to be used during high-flow season. Targets and achievements on the project were discussed during the briefing. Later, the chairman had a visit of diversion tunnel, diversion canal, up and downstream starter (coffer) dams, and downstream permanent bridge in particular. He also inaugurated newly-constructed field hospital at the project site. Diamer Basha Dam has a gross water storage capacity of 8.1 MAF to irrigate 1.23 million acres of additional land. Power generation capacity of the project stands at 4,500 megawatts, with annual energy of 18 billion units green and clean hydel electricity.

A sum of Rs78.5 billion is being spent on resettlement of affectees and CBMs in health, education and infrastructure development. The chairman also visited Dasu Hydropower Project and reviewed construction activities on the project. GM Dasu Hydropower Project and representatives of the consultants and the contractors were also present on the occasion. The 4320 MW-Dasu Hydropower Project is planned to be completed in two stages.

WAPDA is constructing its stage-I with installed generation capacity of 2160 MW and annual energy generation of 12 billion units. Rs17.34 billion have been earmarked to execute CBM schemes for economic and social development in the project area.