Vastavam web: Pakistan has been keen for years to build a cascade of mega dams along the Indus flowing down from the Himalayas. Due to struggling of funds pakistan expects China to fund a long-delayed Indus river mega dam project in Gilgit-Baltistan, part of disputed Kashmir said by Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal.The $12-$14 billion Diamer-Bhasha dam should generate 4,500 megawatts (MW) of electricity, and a vast new reservoir would regulate the flow of water to farmland that is vulnerable to increasingly erratic weather patterns.
“This water reservoir is most critical for food security in Pakistan, so is a very high priority project for Pakistan,” Iqbal told Reuters late on Monday at his ministerial home in Islamabad.China and Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding in December for Beijing to help fund and develop Pakistan’s Indus Basin dams, though no timelines have been released. Pakistan estimates there is 40,000 MW of hydro potential. Iqbal said Pakistani and Chinese engineers are also surveying other projects, including the 7,100 MW Bunji hydro power project that will be the first in the cascade that stretches down to the Tarbela Dam near Islamabad.
India has previously opposed any construction in the Indus Basin it claims as its own, and has criticized CPEC because the $57 billion corridor runs across disputed territory.India this year fast-tracked $15 billion worth of dam projects on its side of Kashmir, despite fears from Islamabad that the power stations will disrupt vital Indus water flows into Pakistan.