In maiden visit, PM Shehbaz urges completion of Diamer Bhasha Dam by 2026 instead of 2029 – Pakistan

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday urged authorities to accelerate the Diamer Bhasha Dam project and complete it by 2026 rather than the currently scheduled 2029.

During the site visit, the newly elected prime minister gave orders to check the speed and activity of the project’s work. He was accompanied by other PML-N leaders including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Khawaja Asif.

Prime Minister Shehbaz was briefed by the Chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) by retired Lieutenant General Muzammil Hussain. He was informed of the issue that was resolved after the efforts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan administrations.

In a speech to project staff and Wapda officials, PM Shehbaz credited his older brother and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who “started the project in 2016”.

“Some issues were resolved very quickly by Wapda President and his team. I hope that all of you will work hard for the biggest energy project to finish it as soon as possible with one mind and one accord.”

He said he could understand that the terrain in the area was difficult to work with and had financial problems, but he was happy to know that the project could be financed in an international market.

The prime minister said the development of the project, once started, would be of enormous benefit to the economy, along with meeting irrigation requirements and protecting the country from flash floods. He added that it would make the country “prosperous and progressive”.

He thanked Wapda, the Chinese company, and the Frontier Works Organization for working together on the project.

Prime Minister Shevaz has urged international investors to invest in the project so that electricity production can start as soon as possible.

The prime minister said the Dasu dam is also nearing completion and will be operational soon, which will help the country overcome the energy crisis.

The Prime Minister also announced the construction of a 13 km long tunnel at Babusar Top.

The Prime Minister also asked the Secretary-General and Chairman Wapda to finalize the proposal for a 300-bed hospital within a week.

Experts: “Early completion is impossible”

Regarding the early completion of the project, experts who completed the regional hydroelectric project argued that it would be impossible to complete the 4400MW project in four years, rather than the scheduled time.

Engineer Abdul Tawab, who served as Director of the Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization and completed several projects as a project manager, said: The Diamer Bhasha Dam Reservoir could take about four years to complete, and bypassing the Indus River and tunnels was no easy task.

To the question, he answered that this project is not only an energy project, but also the largest reservoir site in the country.

Chairman Wadda also told the Prime Minister at a briefing that it was impossible to complete the project in such a short time.