Tarbela Dam Project, Pakistan

by Wilson Binger, Partner; Tippetts-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Journal of the Power Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 2, Pg. 221-245

Document Type: Journal Paper


The Tarbela Dam Project, now under construction, is a component of the Indus Basin Project, a by-product of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 between Pakistan and India. The main embankment dam will close the Indus valley where the river emerges from the Himalayan foothills. Associated with the dam are, on the left bank, two auxiliary dams required to close a side valley and a saddle, and service and auxiliary spillways. On the right bank are four irrigation and power tunnels, water through three of which will drive the 12 units ultimately to be installed in a powerhouse just downstream of the dam. The reservoir will provide 9.3 MAF of live irrigation storage; the powerhouse will contain 2,100,000 kw of installed generating capacity. From its natural midvalley channel, the river has been diverted first into a prepared channel by the right bank, and will later be diverted through the tunnels. Rather more than 300,000,000 tons of fills are transported largely by belt conveyors. For this $1 billion project, resources have been mobilized on a global scale.

Subject Headings: Embankment dams | Spillways | Dams | Developing countries | High-rise buildings | Irrigation | Hydro power | Tunnels | Pakistan | Asia | India

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