Islamabad, July 16 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has inaugurated the Diamer Bhasha dam, said to the tallest roller compact concrete dam in the world, with an installed capacity of 4,500-megawatt electricity production at the River Indus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said an official statement.
The dam, scheduled to be completed by 2028, is 272-metres high, has a 8.1 million acre-feet reservoir and 14 spillway gates, reports Xinhua news agency.
The multipurpose dam will help the country for water storage, flood mitigation, water diversion for irrigation and power generation.
The Diamer Bhasha dam is the country’s third-largest dam, after Terbela and Mangla dams, being built at the River Indus.
The Pakistan government signed a contract with a joint venture of Power China and Frontier Works Organization (FWO) for the construction of the dam which will reportedly increase the country’s water storage capacity from 30 to 48 days.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, Khan said that the dam would benefit the country both economically and environmentally especially the local people by creating jobs and supporting their businesses.
He announced that the government would now move towards building more dams on rivers because these would decrease pressure on foreign exchange reserves of the country by not importing furnace oil for power production.
In a separate statement, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Asim Saleem Bajwa said after the power plant, water reservoir will be added 1.2 million acres for agriculture, produce cheaper, greener hydropower and will create 16,000 jobs by boosting different sectors.