Diamer Bhasha Dam, Gwadar port in quake-prone zone

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  1. Blackwater

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    ISLAMABAD: Two top projects of the country – the gigantic but yet-to-be-built Diamer Bhasha Dam and the strategic Gwadar port – are vulnerable and face a high risk of destruction as both are in the earthquake-prone zone.

    “We should not construct dams upstream of Tarbela Dam in Zone-4 where earthquake of a high magnitude of 9 can strike,” Geological Survey of Pakistan Chief Dr Imran Ahmed Khan suggested during a briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources, which met here on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Yousaf.

    He said some areas of Islamabad and Karachi also fell in Zone-4 where earthquake of a high magnitude could hit, adding the whole area of Gwadar port was also in this zone. The Singhar Housing Scheme of Gwadar was also covered by Zone-4.

    “We have submitted reports about the possibility of an earthquake to all relevant agencies,” he said.

    “In future, an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 may rock Zone-4 where Tarbela Dam has been built and another big reservoir over the dam will also be affected by the disaster,” he said, adding construction of water reservoirs like Diamer Bhasha Dam in the area could result in a damaging incident, similar to the Attabad lake case.

    Khan claimed that no agency had ever contacted the Geological Survey of Pakistan to seek clearance before planning any project. His department had sent several reports to different agencies about environmental hazards, but he said no action had been taken.

    He, however, failed to respond when committee members asked how India was building dams in held Kashmir if Bhasha Dam was in an earthquake-prone zone.

    Panel members recalled that the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam got delayed as donors were reluctant to provide funds and stressed that Pakistan was facing an energy crisis and the government should build small dams.

    “After the 18th Constitution Amendment, provinces have been allowed to construct small dams and they should work on them to tackle the energy crisis,” a panel member suggested.

    Khan revealed that Kabul River had rick and rock content and people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa living along the river had been suffering from cancer and other diseases because of drinking its water from generation to generation.

    “We have noticed that 83% of children are born with deformity in the area of Akora Khattak due to consumption of water from Kabul River,” he said and added some cases of deformity were also found in Punjab.

    Briefing about Reko Diq gold and copper mine in Balochistan, Khan told the committee the mine held reserves of trillions of dollars and said Swat also had world’s most precious gemstones in its mines.



    Diamer Bhasha Dam, Gwadar port in quake-prone zone – The Express Tribune
     
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  3. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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