DASU – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the 4320 megawatts Dasu Hydro-Power Project here on Wednesday and termed it a historic day not only for Pakistan but also for the people of the area.
He said that the ground-breaking of Dasu project was a reflection of the government's resolve to achieve energy security for fast-paced development of the country. "We are spending Rs 500 billion on this area which will provide employment to locals and help significantly in poverty alleviation,” he said.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Water and Power Secretary Nargis Sethi, WAPDA Chairman Zafar Mehmood, Chief Secretary Salahuddin Tirmazi also attended the ceremony.
The prime minister said that the government always worked for the development and initiation of infrastructure projects like motorways had been the hallmark of the government. He said that World Bank's assistance for this project was a manifestation of sound economic policies of the government.
The Prime Minister said, "River Indus provides 40,000 MW of power potential while we have only been able to tap only 7000 MW so far. We plan to fully utilize this potential and 4500 MW Diamer-Bhasha Dam is another project on river Indus which we will take up shortly after Dasu hydro power project."
Nawaz termed the Dasu project a big initiative in terms of its power generation capacity, adding that the present government had taken many steps to provide sufficient energy to power starved economy. He also thanked the World Bank which was providing assistance for the project. The government was striving for availability of affordable electricity to meet the requirements of growing economy and increasing population, he said.
He stressed addition of hydel electricity in the system that can bring down power tariff and consequently provide relief to the common man. Earlier, the prime minister was briefed that Dasu Hydropower project was a run of river project at the Indus River located 7km upstream of Dasu Town, District Kohistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The project's installed capacity is 4,320 megawatts. The project has been proposed to be constructed in two stages. The first stage includes six units with total installed capacity of 2,160 MW, land acquisition, resettlement and environmental and social management. The second stage includes installation of remaining six units. The construction of Stage-II will be taken up after completion of Stage-I.
The total cost of stage one estimated to be is Rs 486,093.3 million and will be completed in five years, while the first unit will start production after 4.5 years. The WAPDA chairman apprised the prime minister that detailed Engineering Design Studies of Dasu HPP including environment and social studies and pre-qualification and bidding documents had been completed.
The ECNEC in its meeting held on March 28, 2014 had approved the PC-I of Dasu HPP for Stage-I with Project Cost Rs 486,093.30 million. Total 30 resettlement sites have been identified and finalized with the consultation of affected people of respective villages. The master plan and survey of eight resettlement sites have already been completed.
The World Bank Board of Directors has approved the financing of Stage-I of Dasu Hydropower Project with $1048.4 million.