ISLAMABAD - State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said that the government was vigorously working over its plans to provide uninterrupted electricity to every nook and corner to fulfill its claim to completely end power loadshedding by year 2018.

To eliminate the power related miseries of masses, a number of small and mega projects have been initiated by the government, he said. The duration of power outage has already been decreased both in rural and urban areas of the country in wake of some concrete steps taken by the govt.

"In a bid to enhance power generation and eliminate loadshedding, the government has launched several power projects and that electricity generation would be increased to 18,000 megawatt by the end of this year," said Abid Sher Ali.He said loadshedding had been restricted to six hours in urban areas, while eight hours in rural areas as a result of solid efforts by the government. Masses have also expressed satisfaction over the steps being taken by the govt to end power load-shedding.

Explaining the progress of different projects of the govt, Abid Sher Ali said Diamer-Bhasha and Dasu Dam projects were in progress, adding 70pc land for the Diamerb Bhasha Dam had been acquired. "Work on 4th and 5th extension of Tarbela is underway to increase power generation from the project," he said. Replying to a question in the National Assembly Abid said the govt had released Rs45b for land acquisition of Diamer-Bhasha Dam. "Construction of infrastructure/preliminary works on Diamer Basha Dam Project i.e. Project Colony at Thor Valley, Composite Model Village-II at Harpan Das and KKH Bypass are in progress through PSDP funding," he added.

The government is also taking comprehensive steps to invite and attract other countries to invest in power sector of Pakistan, he said. "Qatar government has expressed its interest in building two power plants in Pakistan for which the initial feasibility study is in progress," said Ambassador of Qatar to Pakistan Saqr Bin Mubarak Al-Mansouri while talking to members of the ICCI. "Qatari and Chinese companies are already working on four power plants in Pakistan. The construction of these plants would go a long way in reducing Pakistan's energy problems," the Ambassador was quoted as saying.

The state minister further said in order to bridge the existing demand supply gap to generate affordable electricity, the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) under the auspices of Ministry of Water and Power, has initiated several Coal/Hydro and RC LNG based power projects with cumulative capacity of 12,620 MW at various locations in the country, during the last two years. Giving details about other power projects initiated during the incumbent government's tenure, he said that Dasu HPP (Stage-I) having a capacity to produce 2160 mega watt with a PC-I cost of Rs486.093 billion was started on June 25, 2014, where construction activities on Dasu-KKHb -01, Relocation of KKH- -1 and Dasu- -RARb -01, Construction of Right Bank Access Road are in progress, while work on 132 KV Transmission Line from Dubair HPP to Dasu is also underway.

It is being hoped that power load-shedding would end by year 2018, and PML-N could then confidently enter into next general elections campaign on the basis of its performance, he said.