Villagers threatened by dam cracks in Pakistan-administered KashmirJanuary 9th, 2012 - 7:54 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) A reservoir dam of a mini hydel power project built with Chinese assistance in Pakistan-administered Kashmir has developed cracks threatening around 70 families living near the plant.
An email from some residents of Naltar village in Gilgit-Baltistan region said the dam has developed “four big cracks and the water (from the river Indus) was fast gushing towards the residential area”.
“There are four visible gaps in the walls which pose a serious threat to us,” they said in the email to IANS.
Fearing that the reservoir could collapse at any time, the residents were readying themselves to flee the place and move to nearby villages.
They wrote that the authorities, despite the looming threat, have maintained that there was nothing to worry about.
The hydel power project was built in 2008 when military ruler Pervez Musharraf was at the helm in Pakistan.
A Chinese firm built the plant that generates 18 MW of electricity in the power-starved parts of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.
The power house is the single major source of electricity to the Gilgit area.
With the assistance of Chinese firms, the government is currently building 29 mini hydropower stations with a cumulative capacity of 40 MW in Gilgit-Baltistan, rich in water resources that can produce an estimated 40,000 MW of electricity.
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Tags: chinese assistance, chinese firm, chinese firms, cracks, gaps, helm, hydel power, hydropower stations, kashmir, military ruler, mw, nearby villages, New Delhi, pervez musharraf, power house, reservoir dam, residential area, river indus, source of electricity, water resources