PM says cheap electricity is key to prosperity

Lauding the efforts of Pakistani and Chinese engineers and workers for the construction of 4,320 megawatt Dasu hydropower project, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said this dam is vital for the development of Pakistan, as it will meet the country’s electricity need at a very reasonable tariff.

“The construction of the dam is a difficult task for which I pay tribute to all the workers, including foreign engineers,” Mr Khan said while addressing a gathering of Pakistani and Chinese engineers after visiting tunnels and other sections of the under-construction Dasu dam in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday.

He said work on projects such as Dasu dam should have been started a long ago to provide affordable electricity to people. “As Mangla and Tarbela dams provide cheap electricity, Pakistan’s industries get an opportunity to benefit from it and the country moves towards prosperity,” Mr Khan said.

He said time was not very far when the country would be able to ensure supply of inexpensive electricity to people with the help of Dasu hydropower project. “Our economy has rapidly been improving and the acquisition of cheap electricity will meet the industrial and domestic needs and the latter will develop and put the country on the way to prosperity,” the prime minister said.

Praises Dasu project team efforts

Mr Khan said Pakistan was blessed with a number of water reservoirs sites for construction of hydropower projects and if constructed would directly benefit the masses besides improving economic growth and industrial and agricultural production.

The prime minister said expensive electricity caused price hike and inflation while inexpensive power generation from dams brought prices of daily use commodities down. He explained that the construction of hydropower projects was imperative for sustainable economic growth and agricultural production besides bringing prices of daily commodities and inflation down.

Earlier, Mr Khan inspected different sections of the under-construction Dasu hydropower project and reviewed pace of work.

Dasu hydropower project includes construction of a 4,320MW plant on the Indus River near Dasu town in KP’s Upper Kohistan district. The project is located around 74 kilometres downstream of Diamer-Basha dam, 240km upstream of Tarbela dam, and 345km from Islamabad.

The project is being developed in two stages by Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda).

Briefing the prime minister, Wapda chairman Gen (retired) Muzammal Hussain said three more such dams with an overall electricity capacity of around 7,000 megawatts would be built downstream the Indus river in Pattan (Lower Kohistan), Thakot (Battagram) and Khair Abad (Attock).

“The Dasu dam’s first phase is going to be completed in 2025 and start supplying 2160-megawatt electricity to the national grid,” Mr Hussain said. On the completion of its second phase in 2029, he said, this dam’s electricity production capacity would reach 4,320 megawatts.

He said work on the dam was well in progress and acquisition of the land for the construction of the dam and relevant projects and welfare schemes was already completed in accordance with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government’s vision.

“We have been utilising the country’s water resources in a better way to put this country on the way to prosperity and development,” said Mr Hussain.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, IGP Muazzam Jah Insari, Hazara Commissioner Riaz Mehsood, DIG Mirvais Niaz, district police officer Arif Javed were also present at the briefing.

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