Power crisis should not be politicised: PM

PM Ashraf inaugurates two tunnel boring machines at Neelum-Jhelum power project.

A H Nizami August 07, 2012


The prime minister says his government is making efforts to overcome the power crisis by undertaking hydel‚ coal‚ wind and solar power projects to add more electricity to the national grid.

“Let’s not politicise the issue. Let’s join hands to overcome this crisis,” Premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf told a ceremony after inaugurating two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) following their successful installation at one of the sites of the 969MW Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project near Thotha Majoi in Muzaffarabad.

The project is being undertaken to establish priority water rights over the Neelum and Jhelum rivers, as India is also constructing Kishanganga project upstream of Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project.

The project, scheduled to be completed in 2016, will contribute about 5.15 billion units of electricity per year to the national grid. The project is expected to pay back its cost in about seven years.

“With the installation of the two Germany-made state-of-the-art TBMs, Pakistan has joined the few countries that are using these high-tech machines in execution of their water and hydropower sector projects, a project supervisor told the prime minister.

Premier Ashraf blamed the energy crisis on the previous government – but added that his administration was striving hard to rectify the situation.

“We are focusing on developing indigenous hydropower resources to generate affordable electricity. Economic and social energy requirements are met with compact and comprehensive strategy.” he added.

The premier said the PPP-led government has added 3,300MW to the national grid during the last four and a half years. Since most of new projects are thermal‚ electricity generated here is relatively expensive. But now the government is focusing on hydel power and alternative resources to make electricity affordable, he added. “I’ll soon visit the Thar coal project in Sindh to see the progress on the project.”

The Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project is being constructed by international firms, especially the Chinese.

Premier Asharaf thanked the Chinese government for its sustained support in various sectors. Relations between China and Pakistan are unbreakable, he added.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed said the region is gifted with abundant natural resources. “AJK has a potential to generate 40,000MW electricity. If the full potential is exploited, we can easily overcome the power crisis once and for all,” he claimed.

Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar said that the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project would cost Rs274.8 billion, and it would contribute 969MW electricity to the national grid.

Other than that, a slew of projects, including Diamir Bhasha Dam, Munda Dam and Mangla Dam upraising, would be completed soon to overcome the electricity crisis.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2012.


Aurangzeb Humayun | 10 years ago | Reply

@Amjad Ali: Yes you are right it will take too long to wait for the construction of Dams during this process it is feared that our valued industrial set up may be collapsed as the nation might have seen the industrial closures in Faisalabad and elsewhere. The people are compelled to suicide due to unemployment in the country. The National Economy is being destroyed rapidly. It is sad nobody bothers. PPP Govt takes only defensive stance on the matter. The Coalition Parties are equally responsible for this rising crisis. We are still waiting for Energy Minister claim that he will overcome the crisis within six months.

If we see towards West and other developed Nations they are exploiting various sources of energy. I think the Bureaucratic sitting in the Ministry have not updated them self on the new option for the energy or they do not have any initiatives . I suggest that a team of young technocrat should be assigned the job to overcome this crisis.
Amjad Ali | 10 years ago | Reply

These people have nothing to shame with or they have erased the word shame from their minds. Till the above mentioned projects complete, i.e. Nelam jehlam in 2016, Bhasha in 2021, munda in 2018, what will this nation do in this decade. Further more when these projects complete in the next decade, Our demand would have been climbed to 40,000 MW From the existing 19000 MW while the combine capacity of all these projects is not more than 5000 MW. Till when and for how long, they will make us fools. They are satisfied becoz they are living load-sheding free and have dual nationalities and swiss accounts. Strive for more Mr. ALI baba.

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