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First-ever National Water Policy would be launched soon: Chairman WAPDA

Lahore, March 07, 2018 (PPI-OT): Chairman WAPDA Lt. General ® Muzammil Hussain has said that first-ever National Water Policy would be launched soon that would help overcome water challenges. He was talking to the LCCI President Malik Tahir Javed, Senior Vice President Zeeshan Khalil, Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry, Mudassar Masood Chaudhry, Mian Muhammad Nawaz and Syed Mukhtar Ali also spoke on the occasion.

Chairman WAPDA said that that energy and food security is as essential as security of borders. He said that country is preserving only 10 percent of flowing water despite the fact that water resources are depleting. He said that Pakistan stood at 15th in the list of water deprived countries. He said that economic worth of water being wasted to sea is around $ 14.5 billion. He said that we have to plan today for our future as population of Pakistan will be crossed the mark of 300 million by 2050. He said that government is working on various water and power projects out of which a number are near to be completed.

The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid said that though government has largely overcome the energy shortfall and there has been a considerable decline in electricity load shedding but there is a dire need to bring down the electricity prices to give some relief to industry. He said that some three decades ago the energy mix of Pakistan was roughly 70% from hydel resources and 30% from others.

This proportion has almost reversed. Expensive Energy Mix is causing more problems for us. The high price of energy adversely affects the export competitiveness of country as it takes major share in the production cost. The business community will be much relieved if per unit price of electricity is brought down because that would make our products more competitive in international market.

The LCCI President said that unlike Pakistan, India took right steps at appropriate times while building a number of small and large size dams in the same period of time. We kept hoping against hope and relying mostly on thermal based power plants. Resultantly, we are suffering as a nation on account of not being able to generate sufficient and cheap electricity.

Malik Tahir Javaid said that due to its inherent advantages, hydel power is the best bet for overcoming the energy shortage in Pakistan which ranged from 5000 MW to 7000 MW in the peak season in 2017 according to unofficial sources. A significant push should be made towards building medium and long-term hydel capacity in the country. He said that the main sources of electricity generation in Pakistan are hydel, oil, gas, coal and nuclear power. Among these, hydel power is the only renewable source of energy; the others are mainly fossil fuels.

He said that according to the World Energy Council, the total Hydropower resource in Pakistan is estimated at about 50,000 MW. Most of the resources are located in the North of the country, which offers sites for large scale – ranging from 100 MW to 7,000 MW power projects. Smaller sites having the capacity of less than 50 MW are available throughout the country.

The LCCI President said that in addition, canal system with total of 58,450 km watercourses, farm channels and field ditchers running another 160,000 km in length has a huge hydropower potential at numerous sites/locations on each site, ranging from 1 MW to more than 10 MW hydro plants can be installed. It is indeed a matter of grave concern that the current power generation from hydel sources is less than 15 percent of the total potential.

He said that the scope of hydel power generation needs to be expanded as it will also solve the irrigation problems of the country. Instant development in hydel sector is the urgent need of the hour. It is high time for allocating maximum resources to this sector. The LCCI urges the Government to expedite the completion work on Neelum Jhelum hydropower project and Tarbela 4th extension project before the coming peak season as both of these projects would add more than 2000 MW to the system.

Malik Tahir Javaid said that since Diamer-Bhasha Dam which has a gross capacity of 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) and installed power capacity of 4,500 megawatt (MW) is not a part of CPEC, the Government should strive hard to mobilize maximum local resources for the timely completion of this project.

For more information, contact:
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854

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