Construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam should be completed till 2026 or 2027 instead of 2029: PM Shehbaz
Says as a Khadim-e-Pakistan, he would not lie before the nation or twist the truth, but facts should come forward
CHILAS ( Web News )
Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam should be completed till 2026 or 2027 instead of 2029.
Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday visited Diamer-Bhasha Dam site to review its construction.
Considering the national importance of the mega project, the prime minister decided to undertake a visit of the site despite Sunday which is being observed as an official holiday.
Chairman WAPDA retired Lt. General Muzammil Hussain briefed the Prime Minister on the ongoing construction work. The Prime Minister reviewed the ongoing work on the dam and talked to the workers.
The prime minister was accompanied by Members of the National Assembly (NA) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Pakistan Muslim Lewgue-Nawaz (PML-N) Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb.
While addressing the ceremony during his visit to the construction site of the dam in Gilgit-Baltistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Diamer-Bhasha Dam is a vital project for power generation, water storage, creating job opportunities and further strengthening economy. He asked the Chief Secretary and Chairman WAPDA to finalize proposal for 150, 200 or 300-bed hospital within one week.
The Prime Minister asked the team to expedite work to complete this project till 2026 or 2027 instead of 2029. The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction on the pace and standard of the construction work and said that it will expedite economic activities in the whole area.
Shehbaz Sharif said that he gets goosebumps during presentations on development during his term in office thus far when he realises how much time was wasted in the past four years, referring to the regime of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Shehbaz Shairf stated that as a Khadim-e-Pakistan, he would not lie before the nation or twist the truth, but facts should come forward.
During his speech, Shehbaz maintained that he will refrain from political matters, as there will be other opportunities to reveal the truth before the nation.
The prime minister was “happy” to state that the Diamer-Bhasha Dam project was launched by former premier Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif under the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in 2016-17, and that PML-N leader Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi added on to the project in a “wonderful way” during his premiership.
Shehbaz Sharif expressed faith in Lieutenant General (retd) Muzzamil Hussain and claimed that he was “sure” that those working on the project will “keep up” their efforts.
Shehbaz also stated that he was “satisfied” with the funds raised from the international markets and Eurobonds for the construction of the dam, however, he emphasised the need to think of the powerhouse where 60-70,000 watts of electricity will be generated by the dam.
“The powerhouse carries more profit, so I would suggest encouraging international investors to join,” he said and appreciated the ongoing joint efforts of Chinese companies and the Frontiers Work Organisation.
The premier highlighted the benefits of the dam, including economic prosperity, land irrigation, control of sedimentation and flash floods.
He hoped that the projected date for the completion of construction will be decreased by two to three years and that the dam will be completed by 2026/7 instead of 2029. “Nothing is impossible, provided we get our act together”.
Addressing the participants of the briefing in Urdu, after he finished his speech in English for the “foreigners”, PM Shehbaz Sharif said that the construction of the dam will be a milestone for Pakistan. “125-30 million acre-feet of water passes by this dam, but we can only save 25-30 million acre-feet, which is unfair for our people,” he said, adding that everyone must learn from the mistakes of the past and not let this “gift” of nature go to waste.
PM Shehbaz Sharif also took an aerial review of Karakorum Highway, the 3MW Thuk power project and Chilas cadet college.