Islamabad, March 04, 2013 (PPI-OT): President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the Pakistan-Iran pipeline project was motivated by the need to meet country’s growing energy needs and was not against any other country. The President said that the two newly completed hydel projects of Allai Khwar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Jinnah hydro project in Punjab, inaugurated today, along with the Iran Pakistan gas pipe line project should be seen as measures aimed at overcoming the power shortages in the country.
The President said this while inaugurating three separate projects in the Governor House in Lahore today. The three projects recently completed included the Prem Nagar Dry Port project of Railways, Allai Khwar and Jinnah Hydro power projects.
The inaugural ceremony was attended among others by Governor Punjab Makhdoom Syed Ahmad Mahmood, Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Federal Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Members of Parliament and Punjab Assembly, Chairman WAPDA, members of the civil society and high ranking officials.
Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the President while highlighting the growing needs for energy resources for accelerating national growth said that Pakistan needed to exploit all available resources particularly the low cost hydel power besides exploring the ways and means to import power and energy from its neighbouring countries. The President said that Iran Pakistan gas pipeline project was one such endeavour of the government which he added will be formally launched on March11.
The President said that Pakistan was a sovereign country and had every right to pursue projects in national interest and did not intend to offend anyone. He said that Pakistan was an active player in contributing to world peace and stability. He said that Iran-Pakistan gas pipe line should be viewed purely in the context of meeting our energy needs and hoped that the critics of the project will appreciate our energy requirements and the need for importing gas. He expressed the confidence that by pursuing people centric policies Pakistan would soon overcome its energy problem.
President said that we were fully alive to the woes of the general public, business persons and industrialists for the power and energy shortages which the current government inherited. He said that addition of Allai Khwar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Jinnah Hydropower Project in the Punjab will help to some extent mitigate its energy shortage.
He said that government had drawn up plans to not only meet the current electricity needs but also to cater to the future needs and for this purpose had undertaken more than two dozen hydro power projects all over the country. These included mega projects like Basha Dam, Neelum Jhelum, Dasu and Tarbela 4th Extension project. In addition he added that Gomal Zam Dam, Satpara Dam, Dubair Khwar and Jabban Hydropower Projects were nearing completion. He said that after completion, these projects would provide 21000 MW additional electricity and would store 13 million acre feet of water. This will bring down the cost of manufactures and make Pakistani products more competitive in the global market, he said.
Inaugurating the dry port, the President said that it was a bold initiative of Railways to enter vigorously into Private Public partnership. The setting up of dry ports and provision of dedicated rolling stock to the private sector to operate freight trains was a bold initiative, the President said.
The President complimented the Pakistan Railways for opening up to Public Private Partnership in vital areas including operating passenger trains and providing track access to the private sector for freight operations. The President said that addition of dry port at Prem Nagar which was equipped with state-of-the-art facilities will almost double the capacity of existing facility from 4 to 7 million tonnes per annum. The President advised the Railway management to plough the profit earned back into the project to further improve and expand its existing operations to meet growing demands for new tracks and extending platforms and loading areas.
The President said that Private sector by its efficient and cost effective operations, innovative techniques and best management practices was fully capable of producing quality goods and services which are also cost effective. He said that world over the private sector is considered as engine of growth whereas the Public Sector plays the role of facilitator and regulator.
He said that in Pakistan too, effort are afoot that the Public sector acted as facilitator and regulator that should venture only in areas that were dominated by concerns for public service instead of making big profits.
The President commended DP World, Premier Mercantile Services, and Pakistan Railways for achieving this landmark partnership in the setting up of dry port. He stressed the need for continuous improvement for efficient and cost effective operations.
The President advised that Prem Nagar dry port be developed as a model hub for more such ports for inland container traffic throughout the country to reduce congestion within and close to the cities.
President extended his felicitations to the Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Bilour and Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar and their teams and appreciated the hard work and dedication of Chinese and Austrian Project Consultants and Contractors who he said rendered valuable assistance in the completion of these projects and hoped that the remaining projects would also be completed expeditiously.
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