GILGIT: Over 40,000 megawatts of electricity can be produced in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) if the available water resources are used properly, officials said on Thursday.
“The region is full of water reservoirs and is best suited for the production of power. If these resources are used in a suitable manner, more than 40,000 megawatts of power can be generated in these areas,” a senior official in the Water and Power department said.
With the financial support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other donors, a number of projects are in progress in this region. Shagar-thang Power project is one of them, 80 per cent of the total expenditure is being paid for by the ADB.
The dam is the largest project that is being funded by foreign donors. The Diamer-Bhasha Dam will be the highest dam in the world with a 272 metres high spillway and with 14 gates, each 11.5 m x 16.24 m.
Critics of the project have raised objections to the project as it will cause the inundation of over 50,000 ancient rock carvings and will destroy archaeological evidence in the region.
Meanwhile, the official said that nearly Rs13.5 billion will be spent on the 26 megawatt Shagar-thang project in the hopes that after its completion power shortages from the G-B region will.
“Technical evaluation of the project has been completed while the process of identification of consults is underway,” he said, adding that the project will be completed by 2015.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2010.