Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif on Monday said that around 3700 to 3800MW hydel power projects are in pipeline for reducing the load-shedding problem in the forthcoming summer season.

While speaking at the occasion of political leaders gathering to discuss the scope of hydel projects in the country, minister said that Neelum Jhelum power projects were in final stages. He further said that the government was vigorously pursuing the Bhasha Dam project and land acquisition was in progress that will need a sum of Rs 101 billion.

Minister said that it is necessary to take on board the stakeholders of the hydel projects and for the purpose the very important meeting has been arranged in which the political representatives of concerned areas are participating to reach on consensus on different issue and to map a future plan.

Projects of social and economic development are being given prime importance to uplift the standard of living in the areas of Indus Cascade Projects.  An amount of Rs.85092 million would be spent in the development of communication infrastructure, power, education, health sectors and area development of Indus Cascade. In the meeting it was also revealed that Wapda proposed to establish “Indus Cascade University” in which students of the Indus Cascade areas would be given preference in the admission. The sole purpose of the university is work for capacity building of the students of the area so that suitable jobs could be offered to the local residents at the power projects in the area. These projects, on completion, will transform the socio-economic landscape of the areas and bring about a major difference in the lives of the people. Federal Minister for Water and Power said on the occasion that the government remains committed to overcoming the crisis once and for all.

While addressing media men Minister said that the government is working on various sources such as coal, LNG, solar and wind to augment the power generation to bridge the gap between demand and supply, he said. He further added that according to Wapda studies, Pakistan has identified hydropower potential of 60,000 MW, out of which 40,000 MW is located on Indus Cascade starting from Sakardu to Tarbela. He also mentioned that the enormous untapped potential of Indus Cascade offers a way out of the worst energy crisis and charts a path for accelerated economic development of the regions where these projects are located but of the whole country.  At the closing of session, Political representatives of the area expressed deep satisfaction over launch of such projects of social and economic development for better living standard of the people and thanked the concerned authorities for fulfilling corporate social responsibilities in letter and spirit.