ISLAMABAD - Reiterating his government’s commitment, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that the government would ensure implementation of hydropower projects without any delay and promised all-out assistance in this regard.

He said this while chairing a meeting held here to review the progress on construction of important hydropower projects , including Mohmand Dam, Dasu Hydropower project, Tarbela IV (Extension), and Diamer Bhasha Dam and the related matters.

The Prime Minister directed the ministries concerned to pay special attention to the resolution of problems regarding these hydropower projects . Expressing satisfaction over the progress in these projects, the Prime Minister said that capacity enhancement of water reservoirs and acquisition of affordable electricity are the priorities of government.

He said that effective use of precious water resource plays key role in agricultural and economic development.

The Prime Minister said that not only shortage of electricity will be fulfilled with cheap electricity but it will also promote industrial sector in the country, which will enhance the country’s capacity to compete at international level.

The Prime Minister was briefed that these projects will generate 9620 megawatt additional electricity and increase water storage capacity by 11.3 million acre feet. 

The meeting was informed that owing to these hydropower projects , over 23 billion rupees will be spent on social welfare projects, which will produce 23,000 job opportunities. As regards the Dasu Hydropower Project, the WAPDA chairman apprised the prime minister that the issue of availability of land for the project had been resolved.

About the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project, Lt Gen ® Muzammil informed the meeting that the project, after its completion in April 2018, was running and had so far generated 6.2 billion units of electricity. The project had added electricity worth Rs 54 billion to the national grid, he added.

Giving a detailed briefing on the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam, he said that the project would enable 6.4 million acre feet of live water storage, besides making available 18.1 billion units of renewable energy per annum.

The prime minister, while expressing his satisfaction over the progress on hydropower projects , said enhancing the water storage capacity and generating cheaper electricity were among the government’s priorities.

He said the effective use of precious natural resources like water played a pivotal role in agriculture and the country’s economic development.

The prime minister said cheaper electricity would not only help overcome the shortage of electricity but also promote the industrial sector and make the country’s products competitive in the international market.

The government was committed to ensure uninterrupted completion of the projects and would extend all possible assistance in this respect, he added.

The prime minister directed the relevant ministries to give special priority in addressing the issues relating to the hydropower projects , keeping in view their importance in the country’s economic development.

The meeting was apprised that construction of Mohmand Dam was started in the middle of this year and will be completed by 2024. This project will store 1.2 million acre feet water and produce 800MW electricity.

The Dasu Hydropower Project Phase-I will begin next year and will be completed by 2024. This project will generate 2360MW electricity. Similarly, Phase II of Dasu Hydropower Project will be started in 2025 and completed in 2027. This will produce 2160MW power. 

Diamer Bhasha Dam will also start next year and it will be completed by 2027. This project will help store 8.1 million acre feet water and generate 4500 MW electricity.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Water Resources Muhammad Faisal Vawda, Secretary Water Resources Muhammad Ashraf, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Lt Gen ® Muzammil Hussain and others.