Neelum Jhelum hydropower project: 'Efforts being made for timely completion'
Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali, Minister of State for Water and Power, has said that Neelum Jhelum hydropower project is an important project for generation of low-cost and environment friendly electricity in the country. He said that all efforts are being made to complete the project on time in accordance with the directions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
He expressed these views during his visit to Neelum Jhelum hydropower project in Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday. Chairman Wapda, Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, Chief Executive Officer of Neelum Jhelum hydropower project, Lieutenant General Muhammad Zubair (Retd), representatives of the consultants and contractors and senior officers of Wapda were also present on the occasion.
Sher Ali said that the government is focusing on optimum development of renewable sources of energy particularly hydel, coal, wind, solar and biomass. He said that the government also taking steps to expedite the construction work on the ongoing projects. He said that the government wanted to start Diamer Basha Dam and Dasu hydropower project simultaneously and together with Bunji hydropower project, these projects would add a total of 15,000MW of cheap and environment-friendly electricity to the national grid.
The minister had a detailed round of the various sites of the project including powerhouse, transformers hall, and the weir (dam). He also observed the operation of tunnel boring machines. Expressing his satisfaction on the pace of work of this project, the minister said that it was his second visit to Neelum Jhelum hydropower project, which is aimed at witnessing the pace of work to make sure that the project would start electricity generation by the end of 2015 as directed by the prime minister.
Earlier chairman Wapda briefed the minister about the progress on the project. He said that Wapda was making earnest efforts to complete the project in line with the directions of the PM. He said that upon completion, Neelum Jhelum hydropower project would contribute 5.15 billion units of cheap electricity to the national grid and the annual benefits accruing from the project have been estimated at Rs 45 billion. He thanked the minister for his active role in resolving financial issues of the project.