ALTAF HAMID RAO.
LAHORE/ MIRPUR [AJK], (Parliament Times) : Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Chief Minister Muhammad Khalid Khursheed today called on the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (R). A briefing was made to him regarding water and hydropower projects being implemented by WAPDA in Gilgit-Baltistan during the meeting. These projects include Diamer Basha Dam, Harpo, Tangir, Thak, Shayok Dam, Basho, Attabad Lake, Skardu Dam, Tungus and Yulbo hydropower projects.
Speaking on the occasion, WAPDA Chairman appreciated the support provided by the GB Government in implementation of various projects, especially Diamer Basha Dam. The Chairman briefed that construction work on Diamer Basha Dam is continuing satisfactorily despite the difficulties owing to Covid-19 pandemic. Highlighting significance of Diamer Basha Dam in national development particularly that of GB, he apprised the Chief Minister that a hefty amount of Rs.78.5 billion is being spent on development schemes for uplift of the project area on confidence building measures (CBMs). Dilating upon the employment opportunities for the locals, he reiterated that the posts from BPS-1 to 16, as advertised in the Press on September 20 this year, will be filled in from amongst the locals of District Diamer/GB.
Expressing gratitude for arranging the briefing on WAPDA projects in GB, the Chief Minister said that the region possesses enormous water and hydropower potential. He said that construction of projects including Diamer Basha Dam would go a long way in transforming the socio-economic landscape of the country, Gilgit-Baltistan in particular. He appreciated WAPDA for implementing resettlement and social action plans for Diamer Basha Dam Project in accordance with the international safeguards.
The matters relating to the resettlement action plan, land acquisition and schemes under CBMs for Diamer Basha Dam Project were also discussed during the meeting. The progress on other projects also came under discussion.