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Sethi stresses on low-cost electricity generation

Secretary Water and Power Mrs. Nargis Sethi said the power sector is directly linked with the economy of the country and therefore this is all the more important to add to the national grid a good quantum of electricity generated at affordable cost.

She was presiding over a meeting at the Wapda House on Friday to review the progress on water and power projects.

Addressing the meeting, the secretary said that the federal government accords priority to harnessing indigenous resources of hydropower, coal and other alternatives such as wind and solar etc. More attention should be paid to develop these resources, hydel in particular, by constructing projects in the shortest possible time. This will help reduce dependence on high-cost imported oil for electricity generation and stabilise the electricity tariff, she further said.

The secretary said that electricity situation in the country is gradually improving with concerted efforts of the government.

She expressed the hope that the situation will further improve in the days to come.

Terming Wapda as an important organisation of the country, the she said that Pakistan is fortunate to have projects like Tarbela and Mangla.

“The government is working on Diamer Basha dam and we will have significant development on the project in the coming days,” she added. The secretary said that the under-construction projects should be completed in accordance with the timeline.

She appreciated the efforts made by Wapda to complete Kachhi and Rainee Canal project, adding that the two projects will help irrigate hundreds of thousands of acre land in the far flung areas of Balochistan and Sindh for socioeconomic uplift of the people.

Speaking on the occasion, Wapda chairman Syed Raghib Shah assured the secretary to follow the timeline for completing the projects.

The chairman said that Wapda has devised a least-cost energy generation and water storage plan, through which more than 25 projects are being implemented to generate about 27000 megawatts of electricity and store 13 million acres feet of water.

Dilating upon the short, medium and long term strategy, he informed the meeting that 370 MW of hydel electricity will be added to the system by June 2013, another 2600 MW in the next four years, and by 6500 MW by 2020, provided funds are made available for the purpose.

He thanked the secretary water and power for enhancing the payment to Wapda to the tune of Rs3 billion per month against hydel invoices to help overcome financial problems in implementing the projects.

The financial as well as other issues relating to the water and power projects were also discussed in details during the meeting.

Among others, additional secretary water and power, secretary Wapda, joint secretary water and power, NTDC managing director and members of Wapda attended the meeting.

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