ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Friday considered a set of remedial measures, including approval and installation of grid stations in the area, to overcome Gwadar’s current electricity shortfall of 22 per cent.
A representative of Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) briefed the Senate’s Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms on the power projects in Gwadar, maintaining that the Mekran district, of which Gwadar is a part of, was getting its power supply from Iran.
There was a total demand of 89 megawatts on the 132KV Jackigur line in Iran to Mand in Pakistan. The total availability of electricity is 69MW and there was a shortage of 20MW.
Highlighting remedial measures taken by the government, he mentioned the construction of a 132KV grid station at the deep sea port, adding that an associated 132KV direct transmission line had been approved at a cost of Rs806.279 million.
The construction of a 132KV grid station at downtown Gwadar and its associated direct transmission line had also been approved at a cost of Rs321 million and the construction of another 132KV grid station at Singhar Housing Scheme and associated direct transmission line at an approved cost of Rs371 million.
According to him, the work on a 7.6-kilometre-long 132KV transmission line, connecting a 220KV grid station with the existing 132KV grid station, has not yet begun because of a delay in construction of a 220KV grid station at Gwadar by the National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited. The tendering process of a 3.3-kilometre 132KV transmission line between Gwadar Grid Station and the Deep Seaport has been completed.
A project connecting Gwadar with Nal via Panjgur and Basima on a direct line had also been included in the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) during the current fiscal year. Its PC-I has been framed and submitted to the water and power ministry.
On concerns over encroachments raised by Senator Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail, Planning, Development and Reform Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that the ministry would recommend the National Highways Authority to ensure that the western route of the CPEC’s six-lane right of way should be protected.
Senator Nawabzada Saifullah Magsi pointed out that the success of CPEC would depend on how many local stakeholders could be engaged. The government, according to him, is focusing on setting up a university campus and a vocational and technical training institute to train manpower in Gwadar. He also spoke about establishing an airport, an expressway and a hospital in the area, saying that all of these projects would be initiated this year.
Earlier, the head of the committee Senator Tahir Hussain Mashadi warned that while reports of the multi-billion CPEC seemed promising, the factual position surrounding it was quite different, citing the incidence of power outages across the country.
Moreover, the committee urged the government to take stock of its agreements with China for tangible and timely progress on the multi-billion projects.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2016.
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