Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has appreciated the Ministries of Water and Power, Finance, Petroleum, WAPDA and others for doing excellent work during this season as the people of the country and the industrial sector had to face minimum possible load shedding.
The Prime Minister expressed these views during a briefing by the Ministry of Water and Power on Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project here today at the Prime Minister’s House which was attended by the Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, Secretary Finance, Secretary Ministry of Water and Power, Secretary Economic Affairs Division and other senior officials of the relevant Ministries.
The Prime Minister said that the timely action of the Federal Ministries had frustrated the designs of the political opponents who were planning to cash on the possible unrest due to shortage of energy in the season. The Prime Minister further directed the Ministries to take measures well in advance to minimize the impact of the canal closures by bridging the possible power gap by increasing the Thermal Power Generation.
The Prime Minister said that this Government had added 3500 MW in the National Grid during its tenure, so far, which was an impressive performance by any stretch of imagination. The Prime Minister further said that the democratic government had also provided electricity to thousands of villages in the country during the period.
In view of the very good response from the private sector in the power sector as highlighted by Chairman WAPDA, the Prime Minister approved the one-window operation in order to facilitate the potential investors who were interested to invest in Pakistan due to bright prospects in this sector.
The Prime Minister also urged upon the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Water and Power to project the government’s successful efforts in undertaking the short-, medium- and the long-term projects to overcome the energy shortage in the country. The credit should be earned by showcasing the performance in this sector, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said that credit goes to the democratic government for launching work on the Diamir Bhash Dam, which was approved by the Council of Common Interests through a consensus decision, unlike the Kala Bagh Dam, which fell victim to political controversies.
The Prime Minister expressed the resolve of his government to take up decisions in the successive cabinet meetings about the Public Sectors Enterprises which had been making big hole in the pocket of public exchequer for the last many years. The matter of circular debt will be taken upfront so that people are not confronted with the unscheduled load-shedding.
The Prime Minister said that important and immediate decisions would be taken regarding the LNG to overcome the shortage of electricity in the country because the entire import of LNG would be used for producing 2200 MW electricity.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Kohala Hydropower Project said in his briefing that the work on the project was progressing well and about 28 percent work of the project had already been completed.
The meeting also approved the reconstitution of the Board of Directors by inducting relevant stakeholders.
The CEO of Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project said that after winning the arbitration case, the work had been resumed in full swing and hopefully would be complete in 2016 with generation capacity of 960 MW.
The CEO also said that the earthquake of 2005 led to the modification in the design of the project to make it earthquake-proof. The alteration in the design caused substantial increase in cost, because it entailed massive additional civil works.
The management of the project also briefed about the funding plan and identified problems which they said would be resolved with ease.
The meeting directed that immediate steps should be taken to release the Nandipur Power project machinery lying in Karachi despite the Cabinet decision to make the project operational by early next year.
The Chairman WAPDA said that it was easy to take up the Tarbela Extension Power Project because the Tunnel to be used for the extension project was constructed during 1970s. He further said that the World Bank had shown considerable interest in the Dassu Dam project which would produce 4300 MW electricity after completion.
Munda Dam Project on the Swat River, the Chairman said, would be an excellent project because it would not only produce electricity but also save the large areas of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa from floods because these were caused by Swat River and not by Kabul River.
The Chairman said that the work on Boonji Dam had to be reviewed in view of the one study that revealed that the fault-lines were in the close proximity of the dam site.
The Chairman urged upon the completion of the Kacchi Canal project because its completion within next 8 months would provide water to the one lac barren land of Dera Bugti, Balochistan.
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