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ADB team discusses water, power projects

The visiting delegation of Asian Development Bank (ADB) extends broader support for water and power projects in Pakistan though there is no mention of financing major projects of national importance like Diamer Basha Dam and Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project.

A seven-member high profile delegation of Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Directors, headed by Executive Director Maurin Sitorus, called on the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) chairman at Wapda House here on Sunday to discuss matters relating to the projects being implemented by Wapda in water and hydropower sectors. ADB Country Director Werner E Liepach and Wapda Member (Power) Muhammad Qasim Khan were also present.

The ADB delegation said that the bank had been supportive of the projects in water and power sectors in Pakistan, adding that they would continue their cooperation to the government of Pakistan and Wapda for the future projects as well. It is pertinent to mention here that federal government in general and Wapda management in particular have been failed in garnering support for key water sector projects in recent years.

There have been several announcements made for reaching a consensus with various international financial institutions in this regard but eventually to no avail. Speaking at the meeting, the chairman said that Wapda, in view of increasing needs of electricity and water in the country, was working on over 20 large and medium-sized projects with cumulative power generation capacity of more than 20,000 MW and water storage capacity of about 12 million acre feet (MAF).

Wapda plans to add 6,000 MW low-cost hydel electricity within next five years and another 14,000 MW by the year 2020, he said. He said that in addition to utilising local financial resources, the investment and the assistance by various international financial institutions was also of immense importance in implementation of these projects.

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