• Short Summary

    The giant Tarbela Dam, the world's greatest ever civil works project, is nearing completion on the River Indus in west Pakistan.

  • Description

    The giant Tarbela Dam, the world's greatest ever civil works project, is nearing completion on the River Indus in west Pakistan.

    The dam and reservoir are the centre pieces of a vast water-and-power development plan for west Pakistan.

    The Tarbela project was launched in November, 1968, as the final stage of the Indus Basin Development scheme.

    The scheme had its origins int he water dispute between India and Pakistan following partition of the subcontinent in 1947. The Indus Water Treaty of 1960 resolved the dispute and specified a huge works programme to replace canal water lost to India.

    The Tarbela project is seen as the crowning achievement of the World Bank-sponsored irrigation and power scheme. Its statistics over-shadow any other engineering project ever undertaken.

    The Dam alone will cost $1,280 million (about GBP 512 million); it has employed 15,000 Pakistanis and 600 expatriate workers, mainly from Italy; it is the world's largest earth-and-rock-filled dam with three times the capacity of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt; and -- when completed after eight years of construction -- will provide the final link in the largest irrigation system in the world. Five major rivers are being harnessed to water the fertile Punjab Plains and generate 2,100,000 kilowatts of hydro-electric power -- one-and-a-half times Pakistan's present output.

    The dam and massive power station complex are being built by a consortium of 13 European companies, headed by an Italian firm. In addition, 12 other international companies have supplied specialised equipment for the project.

    The main embankment of the dam, a massive pile of earth and rocks, is virtually a man-mae mountain. It is 9,000 feet long, 470 feet high, has a base 2,000 feet thick and tapers to a 40-foot width at the top. It is already holding back a tremendous quantity of water, with a lake 50 miles (80 kms) long and II miles (17 kms) wide at some points.

    In spite of the huge cost of the project, the reservoir is expected to last only 60 years. The River Indus brings a large quantity of sediment, silt and sand with it as it makes its way through 700 miles (1,126 kms) of mountainous terrain from Tibet to Tarbela. But the project is still considered worth building. The electricity generated by the tarbela scheme alone is expected to repay the total cost of the dam in ten to twelve years. It will also bring additional advantages to Pakistan's water-starved agricultural areas.

    SYNOPSIS: The giant Tarbela Dam, the world's greatest civil works project, is nearing completion on the River Indus in west Pakistan. The huge earth-and-rock-filled main wall -- a virtual man-made mountain -- is already holding back a tremendous quantity of water. The Tarbela project is seen as the crowning achievement of a World-Bank-sponsored irrigation and water scheme.

    The dam and massive power station complex are being built by a consortium of thirteen European companies, headed by an Italian firm. Fifteen thousand Pakistanis and six hundred expatriate workers are engaged on the project which began in nineteen sixty-eight.

    The statistics of the scheme are overwhelming. The Tarbela is the world's largest earth-and-rock-filled dam. When completed it will provide the final link in the largest irrigation system in the world. Five major rivers are being harnessed under the Indus Basin Development scheme. The Tarbela Dam and reservoir alone is costing a staggering five hundred and twelve million pounds.

    But the outlay is seen as a wise investment for water-starved Pakistan. The project will water the fertile Punjab Plains and generate two million one hundred thousand kilowatts of hudro-electric power -- one-and-a-half times Pakistan's present output. The electricity generated alone is expected to repay the total cost of the dam in ten to twelve years.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAF4KK06QRHWANIPFFP08AQ1YXB
    Media URN:
    VLVAF4KK06QRHWANIPFFP08AQ1YXB
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    31/07/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:29:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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