Hydropower project

A number of thermal, hydel, gas and coal-fired power plants are under implementation in parts of the country as part of the efforts by the federal government to overcome lingering problem of electricity load-shedding at the earliest. Acceleration in the completion of under-execution projects is good, as timely completion of these projects will ensure that fruits of these developmental activities reach the people as soon as possible.
It is quite good to note as per reports in the newspapers that the first unit of the 969 megawatt hydropower project, located in Neelum district in Azad Kashmir, will start electricity production by end of March 2018 followed by the second, third and fourth units at one month interval respectively. Water filling and pressurisation in the 51.5-kilometer long tunnel has since commenced under a phased programme and with commencement of this phase, work on the project has been completed up to 97 per cent, which is quite commendable.
The cost of the project no doubt is being revised upward every now and then as some unforeseen problems keep arising in its execution but then its installed power generation capacity has also been substantially enhanced to 969 megawatt from original 650 megawatt. Though it does not fall under 57 billion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) umbrella like many other under-construction power projects in the country but it is being executed by a consortium of Chinese construction companies and China Exim Bank is the main donor among others. Hopefully, the project will be completed according to its revised timeline and its major contribution towards national grid will greatly help complete elimination of electricity load-shedding.
M Z RIFAT
Lahore

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