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PM lays foundation of 4,320MW Dasu Power Project

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif performed the groundbreaking ceremony of the 4,320 megawatts (MW) Dasu Hydro Power Project at Dasu. 
He said, “Today is historic day not only for Pakistan but also for the people of the area as we perform the ground-breaking of 4,320-MW Dasu Hydropower Project”. 
The Dasu Project is a reflection of the present government’s resolve to achieve energy security for fast-paced development of the country. We are spending approximately Rs 500 billion on Dasu Hydro Power Project, which besides power generation will also provide employment to locals of Kohistan and surrounding districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa thus helping poverty alleviation, he added.
Nawaz said we have always worked for the development of Pakistan and initiation of infrastructure projects like motorways that has been the hallmark of our government. 
If we are allowed to complete our 5 years term, Pakistan’s fate will turn around Insha Allah, he said. Prime Minister said World Bank (WB)’s assistance for this project was a manifestation of sound economic policies of the government.
River Indus has a power potential to provide 40,000 MW of power while we have only been able to tap 7,000 MW so far. We planned to fully utilise this potential and 4,500 MW Diamer-Bhasha Dam was another project on River Indus, which we would take up shortly after Dasu Hydro Power Project, he added.
He termed Dasu a big initiative in terms of its power generation capacity and said government has taken many steps to provide sufficient energy to power starved economy. He thanked WB, which was providing assistance for the project.
Stressing upon the availability of affordable electricity he said, “Our problem is not merely the availability of electricity. What we are striving for is cheap and affordable electricity to meet the requirements of growing economy and increasing population”. 
The role of hydel electricity is of immense importance to rid us of the scourge of power shortages and put our economy on the trajectory of development.  It is through addition of hydel electricity in the system that we can bring down the power tariff and consequently provide relief to the common man.   
Earlier he was briefed Dasu Hydropower Project was a run of river project at the Indus River located 7 kilometers upstream of Dasu Town district Kohistan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Project would be constructed in two stages. 
The first stage estimated at Rs 486,093.3 million includes six units with total installed capacity of 2,160 MW, land acquisition, resettlement and environmental and social management. First stage will be completed in five years, while the first unit will start production after 4.5 years. The second stage includes installation of remaining six units. 
The chairman Water and Power Development Authority apprised Nawaz about detailed engineering design studies of Dasu including environment and social studies and pre-qualification and bidding documents.  Total thirty resettlement sites have been identified and finalised with the consultation of affected people of respective villages. The master plan and survey of eight resettlement sites have already been completed. 
The WB Board of Directors has approved the financing of stage-I of the Project with $1048.4 million. Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Secretary Water and Power Nargis Sethi, Chairman WAPDA Zafar Mehmood and Lt Gen (retd) Salahuddin Tirmazi Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also attended the ceremony.

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