ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has inaugurated the first unit of strategically important 969 MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The first unit will generate 242 MW of electricity. It will be followed by the second, third and fourth units at one month intervals respectively.
Water filling in head race tunnel had already been commenced, followed by wet commissioning test in order to start generation.
The head race tunnel is a component of 52 kilometer long water way system of the project that has been constructed underground in the high mountain areas to divert water from the water reservoir to the power house of the project.
The project will provide about five billion low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid every year. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs50 billion.
Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project is an engineering marvel with 90% of the project being underground in the high mountain areas.
Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project consists of three main components i.e. a dam, waterway system comprising 52 km long tunnels and an underground power house.
The project has four units with installed capacity of 969 MW.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister Abbasi said that the government had faced many challenges in the completion of the project.
“Efforts made by the people of Kashmir to complete the project are commendable,” he said.
“The current Line of Control situation is not hidden. We have raised the Kashmir issue at every level.”
He said that the PML-N government had installed power plants to generate 10, 000 MW.
“I fail to understand why the government advertisement was banned,” he questioned. “Whoever works, is evicted from politics.”
He lamented that politicians were not respected in the country.
Story first published: 13th April 2018