A military delegations form The People's Republic of China visited the Tarbela Dam construction site, about fifty miles northwest of Islamabad, on Wednesday (January 9).
A military delegations form The People's Republic of China visited the Tarbela Dam construction site, about fifty miles northwest of Islamabad, on Wednesday (January 9). The Chinese delegation , which is on a twelve day tour of pakistan, is led by Chang Tsai-chien, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the People's Liberation Army. Mr. Chang is one of China's leading strategists. This is believed to be his first trip abroad.
The Tarbela Dam will be the largest earth-filled dam in the world when completed. It will have three times the capacity of the Aswan Dam in Egypt. The project is the final link in the Indus Basin Scheme which grew out of a 1960 treaty between Pakistan and India. In the treaty, the two countries split total control of the six rivers that flow out of Kashmir and the himalayas through their countries. India and Pakistan have the right to divert and use the waters in three rivers each.
The Tarbela Dam, which straddles the Indus River, will cost over five-hundred-and-twelve million pounds sterling. The firs phase of the project, diverting the river, is completed and work on the second phase is well underway. It is being built by a consortium of thirteen European companies, with specialised equipment being supplied by twelve other international firms. Four massive tunnels have ben built, three for generating hydro-electric power and the fourth for irrigation. A second irrigation tunnel is under construction. Some twelve-thousand men are working on the project.
The reservoir will back up fifty miles when filled. Nearly eight-thousand people form come some one hundred villages had to be resettled to make way for the project. Work started on this final phase of the Indus Basin Scheme in 1968 and it is to be completed in 1976.
The Indus Basin Scheme will ultimately channel waters from three major and minor rivers to irrigate some six million acres of land in Pakistan, where agriculture dominates the economy. The scheme will more than double the country's present hydro-electric output and it will benefit tourism. At the Tarbela site, a tourist town has been built in the mountains beside the valley that will soon become a man-made lake.