Pak mulls shifting site of Diamer Basha dam
A German company has proposed to the government to change the site of the dam.india Updated: May 04, 2006 14:51 IST
Barely a week after President Pervez Musharraf laid the foundation stone for Diamer Basha dam in Pakistan controlled Northern areas, the government is planning to change the site after a report that shifting it 30 kms away would save Chilas town.
A German company has proposed to the government to change the site of the dam, saying it will not only save the city but also increase the dam's storage capacity and reduce the cost of the project.
A representative of the German company, Leamher, which prepared the feasibility report in collaboration with a Pakistani company, NDC, suggested that shifting the site would reduce the number of affected people and save the town from submerging, Pakistan's Online news agency reported.
The new location of the dam, proposed in the report, is surrounded by mountains from three sides and a wall will have to be constructed only on one side, thus reducing the cost of the project.
President Musharraf laid the foundation stone for the controversial dam on April 26. Costing around $6.4 billion, Diamer Basha dam would be built on the Indus river near Chilas, about 165 km from Gilgit, the capital of Northern areas.
The Indian government as well as the local people protested over the construction of the dam which would displace about 23,000 people and inundate large tracts.
As per official statistics the dam would submerge 30 villages and 25,000 acres of land, including about 100 km of Korakuram Highway connecting Pakistan with China through the Khyberpass.