Financing Bhasha Dam

Courtesy:- The Nation 
August 15, 2012

Success of the Indian influence in the World Bank has stymied funding from the World Bank for the strategically crucial Bhasha Dam. The factor seems to have deterred Asian Development Bank from funding the Bhasha Diamer Dam which on completion would produce 4,500 megawatts of electricity. Against this backdrop, an emergency meeting was held in the Ministry of Water and Power chaired by Federal Minister Ahmed Mukhtar in order to explore new avenues for funding. The Minister directed WAPDA to submit a report on options and whether there are forthcoming international donors. Already facing a credit crunch, the Pakistan government is at a loss how to arrange for the cash. To boost its sagging fortunes, the impression was given by the PPP government that construction activity was underway. But as things stand we are not even at square one. It is beyond belief that it could have sat idle concerning a project of great national importance especially since when it has already shelved Kalabagh Dam. One had wished that at least the government had started work on Bhasha in order to fill the gap created by silting up of Mangla and Tarbella dams. Our lackluster response is all the more a cause for concern given the number of dams India is building in gross violation of Indus Water Treaty. Chairman of House Kashmir Committee Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s foreboding that these machinations could shatter South Asia’s peace is not misplaced.


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