Five Hydro Power Projects To Be Set Up in Gilgit-Baltistan

Five hydro-electric power plants are going to be set up in Gilgit-Baltistan. Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman, Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, welcomed the approval given by the federal government to start work on five hydro power projects.

The hydro power projects are seen by the Chairman as a means to put an end to the electricity shortage in Gilgit-Baltistan.

About The Energy Projects

The projects will be constructed under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and are expected to cost Rs. 26 billion.

The 105 megawatt projects shall be set up in these areas:

  • Shargthang,
  • Hanzal,
  • Chilas,
  • Naltar
  • Hassanabad Hunza.

The PIAF chairman has asked for early construction of the Kalabagh Dam, hoping to improve the country’s economy. He reckons that the dam would provide the consumers with low-priced and ample electricity.

He foresees KBD to not only cost less but also last longer than any other dam. He regarded it as the most politicised and feasible project in the country’s history.

Water Scarcity: A Grave Issue

The PIAF Chairman made a joint statement with senior vice chairman Tanveer Sufi and vice chairman Shahzeb Akram, stating that the per capita availability of water in the country has already decreased considerably, posing a serious threat to not only the industry and agriculture, but also to the masses.

He also said, that the country’s economy is dependent upon agriculture and its economy cannot thrive without sufficient water resources.

The current per capita water availability is below 975 cubicmetres as compared to the 5100 cubic meters in 1960.

Action Needed

The PIAF Chairman revealed the constant warnings received by the government, issued by IRSA. The warnings are issued to bring the water scarcity problem under the government’s consideration.

Keeping in view the water shortage faced by the country, the Chairman has urged the government to declare a water emergency.

He further added that the country is likely to fall prey to a severe water crisis within 10 years if required actions to enhance the country’s storage capacity are not put to effect immediately.

The Chairman urged that all allocations of PSDP shall be spent on enhancing the water storage capacity.

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