Nandipur project’s inauguration: Nawaz asks foes to rally round cause of democracy

Prime minister advises political groupings to avoid protest politics.

Nawaz Sharif reviews the site of the Nandipur power project alongside Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif. PHOTO: APP


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday enjoined his political foes to abandon “divisive politics” and back instead efforts to strengthen democracy for the sake of the country.

He made the appeal at the inauguration of the 425-525 megawatt (MW) Nandipur power project – which he touted as proof of the government’s commitment to steer the country out of its energy crisis.

“These [political parties which are planning anti-government campaigns] should not create stumbling blocks in the progress of Pakistan and should instead join hands with us for development,” PM Nawaz said. Voicing disdain at their campaign, he asked: “Is your protest against our efforts to strengthen democracy, ensure development, generate employment and eliminate corruption?”

“If the agenda of the protesters is against all these initiatives, then we can only assume that they are trying to destroy the country,” he said.

The premier accused his political rivals of stage-managing protests in Pakistan from Canada and London and fomenting unrest. “While they are perpetuating the processions against the government, we are working day in and day out for the progress of this country,” he said.

“I cannot understand why some people are making a hue and cry when the government is delivering. They must see that the government is investing in projects all over the country irrespective of whether they bagged votes from those constituencies or not,” he added.

He pointed out that the government had launched an operation in Karachi to end kidnappings, targeted killings and extortion rackets and that the situation had improved there.  “We are taking measures to eliminate terrorism and militancy,” he said adding that the agenda of the agitating political parties was beyond comprehension.

He said the Nandipur power project was commissioned ahead of schedule. “The first phase of 95MW electricity will start from today and the rest of the projected electricity will be added in the next few months,” he said.

At the same time, the premier also heaped scorn at the previous government for withholding equipment for the project at Karachi port for three years. “As a result of this, the cost of the project went up to Rs275 billion against earlier cost of Rs84 billion,” he said, adding that this issue should also be investigated for plundering public money.

“We have completed the project in a few months,” he said adding that they had held the ground breaking ceremony of two power projects of 1,320MW in Sahiwal a few days back. “I will soon inaugurate Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project also,” he said. He said that current power supply stood at 13,000MW whereas government had been able to generate 16,000MW last year. He said that situation would improve in a few days after the inflow of water into rivers improve.

The premier said the government had planned to set up power plants of 21,000MW generation capacity in the next eight to ten years with the help of China. “Qatar and China will set up ten power plants at Gaddani,” he added.

“We have provided Rs44 billion for land acquisition of this dam a few days back which will also help in storage of water for irrigation purposes and will enhance crops yield,” he said.

The premier said international donors would also provide funding for the dam. In addition to it, he said, the government had decided to start work on 4,500MW Dasu hydropower project on Indus River. “These two projects will generate 9000MW hydel power,” added the premier.

He said the government was soon to lay foundation of Lahore-Karachi motorway.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2014.


FFarooq | 8 years ago | Reply

would be worth mentionig when it produces full 450 MW ........ 100 MW is nothing. No one would see even slight difference due to that.

Fawad | 8 years ago | Reply

A power plant that will run on diesel and that too was 90 percent completed in PPP's tenure but sharif family wants to get all the credit. I call them sharif family because even in this pic, 3 of of the 6 men are from sharif family.

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