ISLAMABAD : Around 63 per cent work has already been completed on the ongoing 969MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project and all out efforts are being made to complete it before its schedule time 2016 as directed by the Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif. Official sources told APP here that work on the project was being carried out in full swing and upon completion, Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project would contribute 5.15 billion units of cheap electricity to the national grid. The annual benefits accruing from the project have been estimated at Rs. 45 billions, they added. Neelum Jhelum Hydroelectric Project (NJHEP) is located in the vicinity Muzaffarabad.

It envisages the diversion of Neelum river water through a tunnel out -falling into Jhelum River. The intake Neelum Jhelum is at Nauseri 41 Km East of Muzaffarabad and has installed capacity of 969 MW.

The sources said the project was an important project for generation of low-cost and the government was exploring all possible avenues to solve the energy crisis under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

The government is also focusing on optimum development of renewable sources of energy particularly hydel, coal, wind, solar and biomass.

They said that the government was not only launching new projects in the hydropower sector but also taking steps to expedite the construction work on the ongoing projects.

The sources said that WAPDA was working on a three-pronged strategy to harness the hydropower potential in the country under the directions of the federal government.

They said that the country possessed an identified potential of more than 60,000 MW of hydropower generation, adding that the phased induction of this potential would even out the energy mix, lower power tariff and provide relief to the common man.

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 15,000 MW of cheap and environment-friendly electricity to the national grid.