Fully exploit hydel potential

THE country’s landscape is rich enough to produce thousands of megawatts of electricity from environmental friendly source of Hydel but it is regrettable that exploiting this precious source has never remained priority of our successive governments. Some mega projects were shelved due to controversies while the execution of uncontroversial ones was hindered by the financial constraints.
However after years of neglect, matters now appear to be heading in the right direction as the present government has taken some important steps to tap the Hydel potential in order to irrigate barren land and produce cheap electricity. Ground breaking of Kurram Tungi Dam by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday was a clear manifestation of it. The project will not only produce 83 megawatt of electricity but also help irrigate millions of acres of land both in tribal areas and the KP. As work on the project has been kicked started, the people expect that the low cost project will be completed well within the stipulated period without any hiccups. The project in fact is also vital for the development of the so far neglected FATA and will help the people stand on their own feet. Given the potential of FATA and KP in Hydel generation, more such projects are required to be initiated in order to change the entire landscape of this region and address the sense of deprivation of local people. At the same time, the government also needs to expedite work on other planned hydro projects such as Diamer Basha and Dasu Dams and complete the ongoing projects such as Neelum Jhelum without any further delay. Provincial governments also need to fulfil their responsibilities and construct small dams. For years we have been hearing announcements in this regard but it is time to act and that too quickly in order to ensure water, food and power security of the country. Since this is a national matter, the federal and provincial governments while rising above political interests should frame a joint strategy to uncap the real hydro potential of the country.

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