Power production is directly linked with the country’s economy, which makes it all the more important to increase electricity generation significantly and that too at an affordable cost, said Water and Power Secretary Nargis Sethi.
She was speaking at the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) House, where she presided over a meeting on Friday to review progress on water and power projects.
Sethi made it clear that the federal government accorded priority to harnessing domestic resources of hydropower, coal and other energy alternatives such as wind and solar energy.
“More attention should be paid to developing these resources, particularly hydroelectric power, by taking on projects in the shortest possible time,” she said.
“This will help reduce dependence on pricey imported oil for electricity generation and stabilise the tariff.”
Sethi affirmed that electricity production was gradually improving with efforts of the government and expressed the hope that the situation would further improve in the days to come.
She stressed that the government was working on Diamer Bhasha Dam and significant developments would be seen in coming days.
Speaking on the occasion, Wapda Chairperson Syed Raghib Shah pointed out that they had devised a least-cost energy generation and water storage plan, under which more than 25 projects were being undertaken to produce about 27,000 megawatts of electricity and store 13 million acre feet of water.
Highlighting the short, medium and long-term strategy, he told the meeting that 370MW of hydroelectric power would be added to the system by June this year. Another 2,600MW will be added in the next four years, followed by 6,500MW by 2020, but all depends on availability of funds.
He also mentioned that the power ministry had increased payments to Wapda against hydel invoices to Rs3 billion per month to help it overcome financial problems and work on projects without any interruption.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2013.
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