Cheap electricity helps contain price hike: PM

Imran inspects work on Dasu project; calls for building more water reservoirs

APP June 18, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan. PHOTO: RADIO PAKISTAN


Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed the need for building more water reservoirs in the country in order to meet the impending challenges of water shortage and to produce cheap electricity to help sustain economic growth and boost agriculture production.

Talking to workers and engineers during a visit to the construction site of the Dasu Hydropower Project (HPP), Imran said expensive electricity led to price-hike and inflation while inexpensive power brought prices of items of daily use to a low level.

“The construction of hydropower projects is imperative for sustainable economic growth and agriculture production besides bringing prices of daily commodities and inflation down,” the prime minister said.

“Expensive electricity leads to price-hike and inflation while inexpensive electricity generation from dams bring prices of daily use commodities to a low level, thus making a positive impact on socioeconomic lives of poor strata,” he added.

The prime minister mentioned that Pakistan had been blessed with a number of water reservoir sites suitable for construction of hydropower projects. “If constructed [dams] will directly benefit common man besides bolstering economic growth, industrial and agriculture production.”

Read more: WAPDA chairman reviews progress on dams

Earlier, the prime minister inspected different sections of under-construction Dasu HPP and reviewed pace of work. He expressed satisfaction with the pace of work on the project and lauded the efforts of the local and foreign engineers and labourers.

The Dasu HPP is being built in two stages by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), as part of the government’s “Vision 2025 Programme”. The government has finalised the land purchase for the dam while the construction work was continuing despite the coronavirus situation.

Dasu project comprises 4,320 megawatt hydropower plant on the Indus river near Dasu town in Upper Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The project is located approximately 74 kilometres downstream Diamer Basha dam, 240kms upstream Tarbela Dam, and 345km from Islamabad.

The construction will be completed in two phases. At present, the work on Phase-I had been accelerated to complete it by April 2025 with the generation capacity of 2,160MW. Similarly, 4,320MW electricity would be produced after completion of the Phase-II by 2029.

Some 80% of the project cost of the first phase will be borne by Wapda and remaining 20% will be provided by the World Bank. He said the project will inject Rs12 billion unit cheap and environment-friendly power into the national grid, besides creating 8,000 jobs.