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PM reviews progress on hydel power projects

ISLAMABAD, Feb 15 (APP): A high level meeting under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday reviewed progress on hydel power projects in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan with a view to accelerate their process of completion to meet energy requirements of the people.During the meeting held at Prime Minister House, the Prime Minister directed that the action plan should be implemented by the relevant ministries, adding that the projects below the capacity of 50 MW should be completed on top priority.
The Prime Minister directed Secretary, Ministry of Water and Power to get Skardu and Gilgit connected with the national grid, which would smoothen the supply of electricity to a great deal.
Chairman WAPDA Shakil Durrani apprised the meeting that the connectivity of Skardu and Gilgit with the National Grid would be completed with an estimated foreign funding of $ 100 million from the French Agency for Development.
Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan said that there were 108 projects in Gilgit with 137 MW generation capacity and their completion would be effected by 2016 with an estimated cost of Rs 137 billion.
The Secretary Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan stated during his presentation that there were seven ongoing projects in AJK which would produce 11 MW of electricity and the projects would be completed by the end of this year.
He said that the Federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) included three projects of hydel power generation which would be completed with an estimated cost of Rs 9.9 billion by 2016 and would produce 55 MW of power.
The Secretary further pointed out that the private sector has taken up two power projects, at Bong “Mirpur” and Pathrand (Muzaffarabad) which would produce 231 MW of electricity.
He further pointed out that there was very encouraging response from the investors on seven projects and the government was proactively undertaking the projects at the earliest.
Earlier, in his opening statement, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan congratulated the Prime Minister and his leadership on the unanimous passage of the 20th constitutional amendment yesterday which would have positive effects on the democratic dispensation of the country.
The unanimous enactment of the amendment had indeed raised the status of the politicians in the real sense, he said.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Water & Power Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Kashmir Affairs & GB Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, Chief Minister GB Syed Mehdi Shah, Secretary M/o Water & Power, Secretary EAD, Secretary Kashmir Affairs & GB, Chief Secretary GB, Chairman WAPDA and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

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