PM hopes people will make right decision in polls
CHITRAL: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Sunday said that the country had been put on right track and the journey of development would go on if the democratic system continued.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the first power unit of Gollen Gol Hydropower Project here, the prime minister said the power and gas crisis had been resolved and the erstwhile falling ratio of economic growth was now on surge.
“Pakistan has been put on right track. Now you have again to decide in July (elections). This (development) process would continue if you make a right decision. You have the powers to make these decisions. This is the democracy. This is the representation. This is the course of country’s development,” he remarked.
Abbasi said continuity of democratic polity is indispensable for progress of the country. He said the people of the country voted former premier Nawaz Sharif in power in 2013, which proved to be in their favour.
The premier said that more development work has been carried out in Chitral than any other part of the country under the PML-N government, and Lowari Tunnel was an example of it. He assured the people that the project would first meet the needs of the whole of Chitral area and only the surplus electricity would be supplied to other areas. He said no doubt, Chitral would now become load-shedding free area as the project would be capable to meet Chitral’s needs even during the drought season.
He said it was the PML-N government that spent Rs 28 billion to complete the Lowari Tunnel project that had been lingering for the last 42 years after Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto launched it in 1973.
“This is the difference between the government which delivers and the ones merely making tall claims, unveiling plaques or making false commitments,” he added.
After the construction of Lowari Tunnel, Golen Gol power project, many other development projects were in the pipeline, the premier announced.
Constructed at Gollen Gol – a tributary of River Mastuj, near Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the first unit would exclusively cope with the needs of Chitral and adjacent areas.
The prime minister was accompanied by MNA from Chitral Shahzada Iftikharuddin and senior officials as he unveiled the plaque of the project.
The total installed generation capacity of the project is 108 MW with three generating units – each of them having a capacity of 36 MW.
The first unit has been completed, while the second and the third unit would be commissioned in March and May 2018 respectively. The project will provide 436 million units of electricity to the national grid every year. Benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs 3.7 billion per annum.
The approved PC-I cost of the project amounts to Rs 29 billion. In addition to WAPDA’s own sources, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Saudi Fund for Development, Kuwait Development Fund and OPEC Fund for International Development had also been providing financial assistance for completion of the project.
In the wake of devastating floods of 2015 in Chitral, the federal government directed WAPDA to supply electricity generated from the first unit of the project to Chitral to meet the energy needs for socio-economic development of the backward and far-flung areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
This quantum of electricity is three times more than the present requirements of Chitral, and will also cater for the surge in electricity demand in future.
Gollen Gol Hydropower Project will result in a new era of progress and prosperity in Chitral, besides stabilizing the national economy by providing low-cost and environment-friendly electricity to the national grid.
Earlier, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a briefing on development projects at Chitral Sunday.
Federal Minister for Water Resources, Chairman WAPDA, senior officers of District Administration and notables of the area were also present during the briefing.
The Prime Minister stated that PML-N Government has allocated unprecedented amount of resources for the develooment of the people of Chitral. He said that mega projects including Lowari Tunnel, several hydropower and road infrastructure projects have been completed during PML-N’s tenure.
The Prime Minister stated that government is working on power projects as a priority so that people of Chitral are provided with affordable source of energy thereby reducing the burden on forest resources. Completion of power projects will also encourage commerce, industry and tourism in Chitral that would provide greater employment opportunities for the local population.
The Prime Minister stated that people of Chitral have rendered great services for the country and therefore the Government will provide all possible support for socio-economic uplift of the local people.
Local notables thanked the Prime Minister for his visit to Chitral and assured full support to the government in timely completion of development projects. – NNI