China offers to build Diamer-Bhasha Dam

Pakistan’s ally China has offered to build the Diamer-Bhasha Dam after World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) refuses.

Pakistan’s state-run power utility conveyed this information to a committee of National Assembly on Monday.

Country’s National Assembly told news agency Reuters “Pakistan expects China to fund [the project]”

Diamer-Bhasha Dam Location
Diamer-Bhasha Dam location – © Wikipedia

The chairman of the state-run utility Muzamil Hussain said that because there were currently no mega hydropower projects included in the great China-Pakistan Economical Corridor (CPEC) so serious discussions regarding the Diamer-Bhasua Dam were in fact taking place.

Premier Nawaz Sharif approved the financing plan of the mega project last December and told his Water and Power secretary to begin preparations to start work on the damn before the end of 2017.

Diamer-Bhasha Dam location © Nihao-Salam

Previously, both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) refused to fund the project because of Indian government cries over the location of the project, which is in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. India claims the region to be a part of Kashmir.

The project’s estimated cost is said to be around $14 billion and when completed, it will provide over 4500 megawatt of power. The project was announced in 2006 and the foundation stone was laid in 2011. Apart from producing electricity, the project is expected to regulate the flow of water to farmlands that are vulnerable to erratic weather patterns.

The project may start before the end of this year.

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