Speaking at the ceremony, the Prime Minister termed it a historic day not only for Pakistan but also for the people of the area.
He said the ground-breaking of Dasu Project was a reflection of the present government’s resolve to achieve energy security for fast-paced development of the country, a PM’s Office statement said.
“We are spending Rs. 500 billion on this area which will provide employment to locals and help significantly in poverty alleviation,” he added.
Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan,
Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Secretary Water and Power Nargis Sethi, Chairman Wapda Zafar Mehmood, Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Tirmazi, Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also attended the ceremony.
The Prime Minister said the government always worked for the development of the country and initiation of infrastructure projects like motorways had been the hallmark of the government.
He said that World Bank’s assistance for this project was a manifestation of sound economic policies of the government.
The Prime Minister said, “River Indus provides 40,000 MW of power potential while we have only been able to tap only 7000 MW so far.”
“We plan to fully utilize this potential and 4500 MW Diamer-Bhasha Dam is another project on river Indus which we will take up shortly after Dasu hydro power project,” he added.
Nawaz Sharif termed the Dasu project a big initiative in terms of its power generation capacity, adding that the present government had taken many steps to provide sufficient energy to power starved economy.
He also thanked the World Bank which was providing assistance for the project.
The Prime Minister said the government was striving for availability of affordable electricity to meet the requirements of growing economy and increasing population.
He stressed addition of hydel electricity in the system that can bring down power tariff and consequently provide relief to the common man.
He said that Dasu Hydropower Project will rid the country ofenergy crisis and change lives of the people of the area.
“The whole of Pakistan will be gratified to Dasu for riddingit of energy crisis. This will light up your houses, lead toprogress, boost our industry and exports and ultimately eliminate the poverty,” the Prime Minister said this on the occasion of groundbreaking ceremony of 4300 MW Dasu Hydropower Project here.
He said the project would be completed within the stipulated timeframe and using the allocated resources, unlike the past, to avoid wastage of public money.
“You have been witnessing that the projects scheduled to complete in two years remained incomplete till 20 years. The cost of projects also increased from Rs 1 billion to 12 billion. These are the unfortunate examples of wastage of hard-earned public money,” the Prime Minister said.
He said such a mega project was never executed in the country and it would help build schools, colleges and universities in the area besides promoting tourism.
Nawaz Sharif said the land acquisition for the project was already underway and the government had arranged funding for the project. The first phase of the project would cost Rs 500 billion, he added.
He said the resources to be generated from these development activities would be spent on energy sector.
“Whenever, we came into power, we constructed motorways and spent on energy sector. The progress we achieved within one year of our present government is unmatchable,” he remarked.
He said the project was meant to ensure public prosperity and protect the future of our future generations.
Nawaz Sharif hoped that within next few years, the nation
would witness progress prosperity and after elimination of backwardness and unemployment, it would feel proud as developed nation.
Earlier, the Prime Minister was briefed that Dasu Hydropower Project was a run of river project at the Indus River located 7 km upstream of Dasu Town, District Kohistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The project’s installed capacity is 4,320 mega watts. The project has been proposed to be constructed in two stages.
The first stage includes six (06) units with total installed capacity of 2,160 MW, land acquisition, resettlement and environmental and social management.
The second stage includes installation of remaining six (06) units. The construction of Stage-II will be taken up after completion of Stage-I.
The total cost of stage one estimated to be is Rs 486,093.3 million and will be completed in five years, while the first unit will start production after 4.5 years.
The Chairman Wapda apprised the Prime Minister that detailed Engineering Design Studies of Dasu HPP including Environment and Social Studies and Pre-qualification and bidding documents had been completed.
The ECNEC in its meeting held on March 28, 2014 had approved the PC-I of Dasu HPP for Stage-I with Project Cost Rs. 486,093.30 Million.
Total 30 resettlement sites have been identified and finalized with the consultation of affected people of respective villages.
The master plan and survey of eight (8) resettlement sites have already been completed.
The World Bank Board of Directors has approved the financing of Stage-I of Dasu Hydropower Project with US$ 1048.4 Million.