With China's help, Pak finds a way to counter India's Kishanganga project

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (Photo:Twitter)

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has inaugurated the first unit of a key hydropower mega project built with the financial and technical support of China in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The 969 MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project near Muzaffarabad was announced more than 12 years ago but work on it lingered on until ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif vowed in 2013 to build it before the end of five-year tenure of his government.

Though Sharif stepped down last year after disqualification by the Supreme Court his nominee and successor, Abbasi, yesterday lauded his vision and efforts for the project.

"Only 10 per cent work was done when former prime minister (Sharif) decided to complete it. If we have succeeded it is due to his vision and efforts," Abbasi said.

As the project was delayed, the cost climbed to USD 5 billion, a three-fold increase to the initial estimates, Abbasi said, adding the project would be fully operational before the end of this year.

Abbasi thanked China for support and also paid tribute to 21 workers who died while working on the project.

Abbasi further said that government added about 10,400 MW power into the system in five years and addressed the chronic power shortage.

Pakistan-occupied Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider addressing on the occasion demanded that 250 MW of electricity from project should be dedicated to PoK to end energy crisis.

Earlier, chief of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), Muzammil Hussain, said the NJHPP was conceived some three decades ago but the work was started only after it became evident that India was planning to build Kishanganga project.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel