The controversy in the country over the construction of the Kalabagh dam continued for months in 2005. It brought the government in January 2006 to decide in favor of the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam first. It also decided to construct the Munda, Kalabagh, Akori and Kurram dams after the Diamer-Bhasha dam.
The 270-foot high Diamer-Bhasha dam will be situated in the Bhasha village, about 177 kilometers south of Gilgit in the Diamer district. It will be constructed over the river Indus. It will get water from the glaciers at Chilas. It will be the highest Roller-Compacted Concrete dam in the world. It will produce 4500 MW of electricity. Its construction is expected to be completed by 2016. The Katzara dam at Skardu will also get water from the glaciers. As against this, the Kalabagh dam will receive monsoon rain water in huge quantities.
The Diamer-Bhasha dam and the other dams in the region (large area) are no doubt required to absorb the wastage of the water of the glaciers. Their construction will provide water to the valleys and hilly areas through channels from the dam. This will cause tremendous increase in the production of grain, fruits and vegetables. The generation (production) of hydro-electricity at cheap rates will at once bring about a revolutionary change in the lives of the mountainous people.
In, monetary terms, the people of Gilgit, Baltistan and the surrounding areas will benefit from the royalties (sums of money obtained) on the dam water. These royalties will be paid by the Punjab and Sindh mostly, which will be using the dam water after its use by the local people.
The dam will surely cause disturbances to some of the local people. They will be compensated for it and alternative homes will be provided to them by the government. Otherwise, there is no possibility of any kind of flooding or damage to the soil on account of the construction of the dam. The people should, therefore, not feel worried at all on the score of the dam’s construction.
The fates of all the people of the northern areas and the people of the four provinces are tied together. They will advance and prosper together. They will suffer and struggle jointly as they all are one in facing natural disasters and the bounties (rewards and presents) of God Almighty and Nature.