Islamabad, February 26, 2014 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that Tarbela IV Extension Hydropower Project heralds the beginning of a new era of socio economic development in the country. He said that it is also a manifestation of the present government’s resolve to provide relief to the common man and boost economic development through addition of low-cost electricity. Prime Minister said this at ground breaking ceremony of Tarbela -IV extension Hydropower project in Tarbela.
PM stated that the worst energy outages that the people of Pakistan have faced for last many years are the result of sustained policy neglect. He said that the successive governments could not address the imperative of increasing power generation in view of escalating needs of economy and population growth.
He said that the credit for putting together the first ever holistic National Power Policy goes to the present democratic government which has been prepared in consultation of federating units and other stakeholders.
He further said that the government is very clear that the country cannot be put on the trajectory of socio economic development unless we develop most efficient and consumer-centric low-cost power generation.
Prime Minister said that in order to resolve the crisis, the Ministry of Water and Power through WAPDA is working on a number of water and hydropower projects under medium and long-term plans. On completion, these projects will not only contribute thousands of megawatt of low-cost electricity but also store millions of acres feet of water. The phased induction of hydel power into the system would reduce our dependence on costly thermal power which will provide a substantial relief to the masses, PM added.
Talking about the other major hydel power initiatives of the government he mentioned Diamer-Basha Dam (4500 MW), Dasu (4320 MW) and Bunji (7100 MW) and stated that he has already directed the Ministry of Water and Power and other concerned organizations to accelerate these projects.
Earlier Chairman WAPDA Syed Raghib Ali Shah gave a detailed briefing on the project to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister was told that the capacity of Tarbela Hydel Power Station would increase from existing 3478 MW to 4888 MW after the completion of the 4thExtension. The project, thus, would add 1410 MW of cheap hydel electricity of the national grid. On this occasion he appreciated the World Bank for financial assistance of $ 840 million for construction of this project.
PM was informed that the Tarbela 4th Extension Project will contribute about 4 billion units of low-cost and environment-friendly electricity to the national power system every year. Annual monetary benefit of the project has been estimated to be Rs.30 billion and it will pay back the cost incurred on its construction in a short span of three years. He was told that the project will be completed in a period of three and a half years.
Prime Minister said that the delays, over costing and escalations would not be tolerated in the project. The Prime Minister was told that as per initial study, Tarbela- V Extension Project will generate 1320 MW electricity and Austrian Government has shown its keen interest to finance the project. Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Water and Power to take up feasibility of Tarbela- V Extension Project and both Tarbela IV and V projects be started simultaneously.
Later Secretary Interprovincial Coordination (IPC) Mr. Ijaz Chaudhry also gave a briefing to Prime Minister on development of Tourist site in Tarbela. He was told that 3 sites have been identified for development of water sports, theme park, restaurant and Water jetty. At this occasion Prime Minister directed to perform a legal review of the devolution of PTDC.
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