KARACHI - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has strictly directed the authorities concerned to complete Pakistan Power Park Project, known as Gaddani Power Project, on time, which would add 6600MW power to the national grid.

Chairing a meeting of the steering committee of the project at Hub, the prime minister made it clear that he would not tolerate any undue delay in completion of the project as it was very important for the country. The meeting was also attended by Baluchistan Chief Minister Dr Muhammad Malik, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Federal Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif, former federal finance minister Shaukat Tareen and the officials working on the project.

“If we are setting a two-year deadline for the completion of this project, then it must be done. We would not let any delay occur on the project,” the prime minister told the officials concerned.

“This has been history of Pakistan that if a project is initiated in public sector, it takes 20 years to complete. But this must not happen anymore,” he said, replying to a comment from former finance minister Shaukat Tareen who diverted his attention towards traditional delays in public sector projects.

The prime minister, who soon after landing at Karachi proceeded to Hub for chairing the steering committee meeting, said the traditional red-tapism that usually made things complicated was being simplified to attract the private sector.

The prime minister was informed that 10 coal-based power plants would be established under Pakistan Power Park Project, of which 8 would be set up by the private sector.

The first plant will be established by the federal government while Chinese companies will be investing in four plants, Nawaz Sharif was briefed.

“We do not want you (private sector) to see me or other ministers for small things, not only regarding this project, but other projects too,” he maintained.

He was told that, after completion of the project, electricity chain would begin from Khuzdar, Balochistan, to Jamshoro, Sindh, and then from Punjab to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Balochistan government has provided 5,000 acres of land for the said project. The meeting was told that a seven-km-long jetty would be constructed for storage of 100,000 tons of coal for the project.

“This is a very important project for Pakistan because it will provide electricity to all the four provinces,” Nawaz reiterated. He expressed his dissatisfaction over the past performance of Nespak and directed the officials concerned to improve the track record of the state-owned entity while carrying out this important project.

“There have always been complaints about Nespak’s services. But as you have already hired its services, I will pray for you,” Nawaz said in a lighter vein. He, however, directed the authorities to keep a constant eye on Nespak’s performance.

Staff Reporter from Islamabad adds: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed for carrying out survey of flood-hit areas. Talking to media after a briefing on Saturday, the PM said that the government would provide all possible assistance for the relief and rehabilitation of flood-hit people.

Earlier, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Major General Saeed Aleem, briefed the PM on recent flood situation as well as losses and damages caused by rain triggered floods in Sindh and steps taken for the rescue and relief of the affectees there during his visit of flood-affected areas of Ghotki.

An official handout issued by the NDMA says that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited flood-affected areas of Ghotki after taking an aerial view of the situation caused by floods in different parts of Sindh. Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah and other government officials also accompanied the Prime Minister during the visit.

Secretary for Irrigation and Power Sindh, Babar Effandi, also apprised the PM of the overall damages due to current flood situation.

DG Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Sindh, Suleman Shah, representatives from district disaster management authority (DDMA) concerned, NDMA and other government officials as well media persons attended the briefing.