Delay in work on Diamer-Bhasha Dam expected due to slow resettlement

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LAHORE: Despite disbursement of Rs88 billion for $14 billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam, only 20 per cent resettlement has been completed by the government so far, reported a private news outlet.

This was stated by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) recently in a meeting held with the federal government.

The project is divided into two major components- the dam project worth Rs650 billion to be constructed with funds provided by the public sector and $750 billion power projects.

The meeting was also informed that the relocation work of Karakoram Highway (KKH) is only 7 per cent complete and that 31,695 acres costing Rs58.27 billion while 5,724 acres costing Rs6.6 billion would be acquired soon.

The total resettlement and land acquisition cost is estimated at Rs125 billion with the dam structure needing funds around Rs268.5 billion. The main dam offers a very attractive Internal Economic Return (IERR) of 15.7 per cent at a discount rate of 12 per cent, however no foreign funding is available as of now.

Besides Mangla and Tarbela the dam with the storage capacity of 6.4 Million Acre Feet (MAF)is expected to be the main storage facility of the country which would help in controlling flood losses. The annual recurring cost for project is estimated at Rs53 billion.

The project is expected to be completed by 2027 with the government allocating $37 billion during the next fiscal year and equal amounts over the next two years, until 2020-21.

“Under the financing strategy, the federal government is expected to provide about Rs370 billion (57 per cent) through public sector development programme (PSDP) while Wapda would provide Rs116 billion (18 per cent) as its equity while remaining Rs163.3 billion (25 per cent) would be provided by the federal government as commercial financing from banks,” reported the private news outlet.