ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday chaired a briefing on national water security strategy and construction of dams to meet agricultural as well as energy requirements of the country.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Water Resources Mr. Mohammad Faisal Wada, Minister for Planning Mr. Asad Umar, Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz, Minister for Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit Baltistan Mr. Ali Amin Gandapur, SAPM for Information Lt. Gen (R) Asim Bajwa, Chairman WAPDA Lt. Gen (R) Muzammil Hussain and senior other officers.
The Prime Minister was briefed in detail about the progress of resolution of all pending issues related to construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam. The Prime Minister was informed that as per his directions all issues related to this critically important project, including settlement, detailed roadmap for mobilization of financial resources etc., have been resolved and the project was ready for commencement of physical work. The meeting was informed that Diamer Bhasha project had remained stuck for decades due to various reasons.
Construction of Diamer Bhasha dam will create 16500 jobs & utilize huge quantity of cement & steel which will give boost to our industry besides its main purposes of water storage & producing 4500 MW of cheap & affordable electricity for meeting energy requirements of country.
The 6.4 MAF water storage capacity of the dam will reduce the current water shortage in the country of 12 MAF to 6.1 MAF. It will add 35 years to the life of Tarbela dam by reducing sedimentation.
An area of 1.23 million acres of land will be brought under agriculture due to this dam. It was informed that an amount of Rs. 78.5 billion will be spent for social development of the area around Diamer Bhasha Dam as part of the project.
It will also be a major source of flood mitigation and save billions worth of damages caused by flood each year. The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the progress made so far and directed to immediately start construction activities of the dam.
The PM said that ensuring water security was the foremost priority of the present government. He said that besides optimum utilization of available water resources for agricultural needs, construction of dams in country would help meet energy requirements at affordable rate.
The Prime Minister directed that use of local material and expertise be accorded priority during the construction work which will provide huge job opportunities to our people. It will also boot construction and related industry and provide a huge stimulus to our economy.