Neelum-Jhelum towards completion

AT long last, it appears that the much delayed but strategically important Neelum-Jhelum hydel project which will contribute 969 megawatt electricity to the national grid will see the light of the day as a difficult and a crucial phase of tunnels stand completed and the relevant authorities are upbeat that the project will start contributing to the system by early next year. It will be unfair not to give the credit of this achievement to Chairman WAPDA Muzammil Hussain who soon after assuming the office gave priority to the ongoing hydroelectric power projects and we expect that he will continue to work with the same dedication for not only timely completion of this project but launch of other especially multi-purpose dams in order to meet the future water and power needs of the country.
In fact, the WAPDA has prepared a complete roadmap in this regard but the negligence of previous governments did not allow the execution of the mega projects such as Diamer Basha and Dasu hydel projects. As the present government has prioritized this sector, we expect that work on these mega hydel projects will also be started without wastage of further time. Our country is already trailing behind in its per capita water availability due to increasing demand as well as growing population. Due to non-construction of any dam ever since Tarbela and Mangla and sedimentation of existing reservoirs, our water storage capacity has witnessed a sharp decline. Presently, Pakistan can store only thirty days of water in the Indus Basin, which is very low as compared to other countries. While addressing a ceremony at the site of Neelum Jhelum project on Friday, the Prime Minister was right in his assertion when he held the previous governments responsible for the present shortfall of power. Though it appears to be a political statement but the fact remains that had the previous governments had paid attention towards the future energy and water needs of the country, the situation would have been far different today. As the WAPDA has all the backing of the prime minister, we hope that its Chairman will leave no stone unturned in carrying forward the agenda of development of water and power sector as it is the matter of economic well-being of the entire country.

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