Diamer Bhasha is a largest and the most magnificent scheme premeditated to be established on the Indus River close to Chilas, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces of Pakistan almost 315 km upriver of the Tarbela Dam and 40 km downriver of the Chilas municipality.

It is the largest dam venture commenced in Pakistan. Upended 272 meters tall, Diamer Bhasha is moreover predictable to be one of the loftiest dams all around the world. WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority) of Pakistan advises to advance the dam with a speculation of fourteen billion dollars. The venture determines to partake a power producing ability of 4.5 gigawatts, to one side from delivering water stowage and flood extenuation amenities for Pakistan.

Construction on the scheme is anticipated to be accomplished in 2029. The two powerhouses of the scheme are projected to be advanced in Kohistan, in the adjacent to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The scheme area will incorporate around 110 km², encompassing 100 km from the dam spot up to the Raikot Bridge on the Karakoram Highway. A whole of 32,139 acres of land counting in 31,977 acres in Gilgit-Baltistan and 162 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was attained as of January 2019, which contains around 86% of the total land essential for the development.

Diamer Bhasha Dam Controversy

The Diamer Bhasha Dam scheme has strained storm since of its site in Gilgit Baltistan, a doubtful terrain between India and Pakistan. India demands Gilgit Baltistan as the Pakistan-employed Kashmir (PoK) and asserts that Pakistan is unlawfully holding this terrain that initially fit in to its northmost municipal Jammu and Kashmir.

India has pronounced apprehend with Pakistan as well as with China, US and international fiscal foundations demanding not to endow any substructure scheme in the PoK.

Located near the Himalayan peak Nanga Parbat, the dam scheme is also suspected to be in an elevated seismic region. It is detained to have environmental outcome such as landslides and floods that would distress the end-to-end areas in Islamic Republic of Pakistan together with India.

Two-sided regional argument and the seismicity of the scheme expanse have desisted the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), as well as additional intercontinental contributor interventions from delivering fiscal aid to the contentious scheme.

The Diamer Bhasha project has also activated noteworthy residential confrontation, as it is projected to relocate more than 4,200 people in neighboring zones and immerse an enormous fragment of the Karakoram Highway to China.

Furthermore, since zone of the scheme part lies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), it has directed to a local argument between two Pakistani provinces Gilgit Baltistan and KP with mutually the provinces querying for entitlements over the royalty from the dam. The border matters between the two regions endured to be disconcerted.

Safety Measures for Diamer-Bhasha Dam

Diamer Bhasha dam construction and operation need a full fledge Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs), that benefits the proponent, the beneficiaries, employees, contractor, and public. To run the Diamer- Bhasha Dam smoothly, following safety measures must be observed.

Safety Measures during Planning and Designing Dam

Diamer Bhasha Dam should be established in harmony with high-tech designing procedures and construction methodology and in a way proportionate with its scope, purpose, geologic situation, and probable threat cataloguing. Cautious consideration essentially be assumed to the following planning and design deliberations, some of these reflections are:

  • Safe and appropriate site must be chosen for dam construction
  • Identify earthquake source area and structure, and identify of earthquake-connected safety apprehensions
  • Develop a spot definite geo-technical and investigation package
  • Plan the basis, dam, and adjunct edifices
  • Priorly set a scheme of arrangement to screen the dam performance, basis, and adjunct buildings
  • Develop a surveillance plan and a prior reservoir filling strategy of basin drawdown principles
  • Prepare designer's working standards and identify distinct deliberations to be detected during building and action
  • Provide the involuntary, sovereign appraisal by capable persons of all project conclusions, approaches, actions, and consequences linked to dam safety
  • Provide design revisions to make it well-matched with circumstances confronted throughout construction.

Safety Measures during Construction of Dam

Eminent construction is perilous to dam safety. Construction employees essentially be always attentive to identify and indorse the conceivable requirement for alterations in the enterprise, building supplies, and building approaches to correctly deliver for real circumstances faced. The vital features of the safe construction package comprise of:

  • Possessing building technologists and superintendents well-versed of the plan ideas, expectations, and determination of the technologist regarding foundation diggings and handling, to the practice and dispensation of building materials, and to the project notions related with the building of ridges and concrete assemblies and with the fitting of power-driven and electric apparatus.
  • Construction technologists and superintendents must be well-informed of the ground regulatory procedures and examinations essential to guarantee eminent construction.
  • A sufficiently operated and prepared laboratory must be maintained at the dam location to encounter the ground-testing necessities.
  • An official strategy for construction review to guarantee that apiece side of vital effort is accomplished in multiple shift processes must be provided.
  • The dam building engineers must be given the power to append work till all site situations dissimilar from those expected are assessed and the essential project or building deviations are applied.
  • The suitable technologists or geologist must technically review the proposed project from every dimension.
  • A complete work history must be documented and reviewed regularly.
  • Mapped and photographed credentials of the construction development and of noteworthy proceedings must be provided.

Safety Measures during Operation of Dams

Operation and Maintenance

The operation and maintenance technique applied must safeguard the safe process of the dam and deliver for opportune restoration of amenities. The vital measures include:

  • Formulating SOP's (Standing Operating Procedures)
  • Train employees in both usual and reserve operation and maintenance errands and in problematic situation.
  • Maintain a inscribed record of basin, watercourse, and power-driven apparatus procedures and of conservation events
  • Test complete process of channel and opening working gateways on a consistent basis, by means of both primary and auxiliary power schemes
  • Provide communal safety and for safety anti-vandalism of vital functioning apparatus
  • Establish and maintain communiqué links with local administrative interventions and establishments
  • A dam means to be functioned in a way that it grounds no hazard to human life and well-being.
  • Adequate safety provisions intend to be in place for dams to safeguard the safety of the procedure of the dam.
  • Additional supplies on the safety preparations are dispensed by Government Ruling.

Periodic Examinations and Evaluations

The episodic inspection and assessment of dams and basins is of substantial standing for public safety. The resolution of leading periodic inspections and assessments is to reveal circumstances that can dislocate procedures or loom dam safety timely sufficient for these circumstances to be modified. All crucial project data, calculations, and engineering and organization conclusions should be recognized and reserved during the life of a dam. The credentials should conceal investigations and design, building tactics and stipulations.

Technical Safety Measure Of A Dam

A dam must be safe and sound during construction. Any ignorance may cause an accident. Following are some safety measures of technical aspect.

  • The steadiness of the building of a dam and the operation and scopes of the mechanical gears must be adequate to safeguard the safety of the dam in all circumstances of procedure.
  • The release gateways and other functioning apparatus of a dam necessarily be dependable functionally. A reserve heaving scheme or strategy must be set out for the maneuver of the release gateways of a dam.
  • There must be active transport acquaintances to the dam. The likelihood for dam conservation also in situation of flood and dam mishaps must be prearranged and safeguarded. There might be no flora or other constituents or matters which do not have its place to the dam and which could source harm to the construction of the dam or impairment of the conservation or supervision of the dam.
  • The proponent of the dam essentially stipulates the strategies the dam safety authority with which demonstrates by what means the technical safety supplies of the dam are realized and how the levitation of the water or other confiscated material emerges when the dam is in operation.
  • The proponent of the dam requires to establish the prospect for the dam safety authority to confirm the completion of the technical safety necessities in diverse phases of the dam building work.

Safety Measures for the Tourists

Location of Diamer Bhasha dam is very appealing and attract local and international tourists. Following guidelines must be provided to the tourists prior to their visit to the dam.

  • The tourists must know about the area. They must be provided correct and clear maps.
  • They must be informed about all hazards and safety protocol must be brought into their knowledge about hazards on that watercourse.
  • Tourists must follow all posted signs and barricades in the area, counting in flood cautions, limited access symbols, portage symbols, or supplementary displayed signs.
  • All visitors must use a private floatation device if they are fishing, boating, swimming, or else recreating on the location.

In case of any trouble, the tourists must not be allowed to enter the water themselves. Instead, they must contact the rescue service or utilize a distant assistive device, for instance a cord or throw bag, to attempt and tug them back to safety.

Safety Measures to Prevent Accidents

The dam proponent should with owing deliberation of the dam threat, realize the essential movements to avert a dam mishap and to bound the damages produced by an accident.

Safety Measures to Prevent Terrorism

Pakistan is a country which experience a lot of externally backed terror attacks. To avoid terrorism in or around dam site, following measures must be taken.

  • Monitor all types of elimination or altering of survey stakes on a construction site.
  • Keep tracking of all unknown external inquiries about project or employees.
  • Keep an eye on all movements in and around dam site.
  • Investigate all types of unknown displays around dam site, that you might think of being harmful to the personnel.
  • Restrict visitors’ movements after working hours.
  • Consider all types of warnings or threats seriously so as to prevent the safety of the personnel.
  • Always investigate all types of unscheduled material deliveries.
  • Inspect Mysterious Items Found in or around dam site
  • Check all types of power lines as well as gas and other cable lines
  • Keep track of all personnel who are present on the dam. Avoid entrance of anyone without permit or personnel license.

Competence Requirements

The personnel accountable for the process of the dam must own adequate information and proficiency on the conditions which influence dam safety, procedure of the dam and correlated safety systems.

General Dam Safety Arrangements

The general safety of dam must be safeguarded by means of:

  • Set appropriate protocol and arrangements in case of observing any disturbance.
  • Warn and make other preparations regarding the release of a waterway dam to avoid hazard to those who dwell upstream or downstream of the dam.
  • Where essential, prepare to avert impairment produced by disruption or vandalism.
  • The dam proponent must formulate and preserve up to date a portrayal of safety preparations and deliver this to the dam safety consultant if it is not available in the other papers delivered to the dam safety consultant.

Realization of these safety measures before and during Diamer-Bhasha Dam construction might give positive outcomes in terms of smooth, safe, and successful completion of the project.

About the Author: Maryam Eqan is an Executive In-chief and Founder of The Earth Needs Love. She believes in youth engagement and activism for environment, climate and sustainable development.