The IPP disaster

Published: June 19, 2013

LAHORE: The faulty policy of the Benazir Bhutto government in 1994 of relying fully on thermal power generation and neglecting hydel power has resulted in the present situation in the country. Imported oil, which cost $10 a barrel then, now costs $100 a barrel, and the cost of generation has gone up to Rs18 a unit.

The government is subsidising power generation and is running up a huge circular debt. Hydel power would have cost us only one rupee a unit. The country has been brought to a standstill. For hours, there is no electricity to run fans or light bulbs and often no water to drink. The misery of the common man is as prolonged as is the load-shedding. As a result, we see people getting frustrated and coming out on the streets to protest, sometimes violently.

This is just the beginning with no end in sight. The wheels of industry have ground to a halt, the workers too are out on the streets with no hope for work even in the distant future. The agriculture sector has been harmed as well. Power riots are upon us and food riots will not be far behind. The damage done to the country appears to be irreparable. Only a mega dam constructed in the shortest possible time can save the situation. Can we afford to wait 15 years for the Bhasha Dam to be built?

Engr Khurshid Anwer

Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Shakir Lakhani
    Jun 19, 2013 - 11:24PM

    First of all, a dam requires too much money and time to be completed. Secondly, Kalabagh dam will provide 4.000 MW (which, when completed, will be only 10-15% of the country’s power requirement. Solar and wind energy projects don’t take so long and are also cost-effective. China has a lot of expertise in these fields, why not ask China to help us?

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