PESHAWAR (APP) - The country is blessed with an enormous hydropower and the prevailing energy crisis could be overcome by exploiting the resources properly. The country at the moment is facing worst power crisis of its history and there is an urgent need to focus on initiating both small and large size hydel power projects, besides developing alternative means of energy in view of the growing power demand. Although the current electricity crises has badly affected every sector of life including the domestic consumers yet the business sector was the badly hit which was ultimately affecting the economy of the country besides being a major contributing factor for price hike and inflation. With a view to explore and develop the hydropower potential in the Province, the NWFP Government set-up Sarhad Hydel Development Organization (SHYDO) in 1986 that work under the administrative control of Irrigation and Power Department NWFP. In line with its objectives, SHYDO has completed the feasibility report of several hydel projects including Daral Khwar, Batal Khwar in district Swat, Ranolia and Summar Gah in district Kohistan besides identifying 12 sites for small hydel projects with the capacity of 80 MW power generation in district Chitral. Moreover, several large hydropower projects including Khan Khwar, Allai Khwar, Duber Khwar were under implementation by WAPDA whereas the feasibility study of Chor Nala, Spat Gah, Keyal Khwar and Kandiah was in process. Managing Director SHYDO, Engr. S. Ishtiaq Hussain Shah when contacted by this scribe said that Pakistan is blessed with a hydel potential of approximately 40,000 MW out of which 70 percent is located in NWFP adding that the total installed capacity of hydropower stations in the country was about 6595 MW with 50 percent share of NWFP that produce 3767 MW. He informed that a number of hydel projects with the total capacity of about 700MW in NWFP are under implementation adding that 6000 MW of hydel potential has been identified by the organization so far that was under various stages of planning. He said that SHYDO could issue Letter of Intent (LOI) up to 50 percent Megawatt capacity hydel projects to private investors as per the revised Hydel Power Policy NWFP while the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) and WAPDA could issue the LOI for more than 50 MW capacities. Ishtiaq Hussain Shah said that Malakand-III project has been completed that could produce 81 MW. Power generation from the project has been started which would earn two billion rupees in the head of the net hydel for the Province annually as compared to the six billion rupees earned by other hydel projects of Tarbela, Jaban, Warsak and Dargai. Giving details about the on-going hydel projects, he said that Pehur hydropower project with the capacity of 18MW power generation would be completed by the end of the current year whereas Reshun and Shishi hydel projects with the total capacity of 4.2 and 1.8 MWs respectively have been completed in Chitral. He said that the present government has realized the hydel potential of the Province and has not only financially supported SHYDO but has also assured to authorize the organization to issue LOI of up to 200 MW to private investors. In reply to a question about the current shortfall of electricity in the Province, he said that NWFP was facing the shortage of 400 MW, as the total requirement of the Province was 2100 MW whereas it was receiving 1700 MW. Furthermore, he went on to add that the total power requirement of the country stand at 17000 Megawatt whereas the current power production was 13000 MW taking the shortage to 4000 MWs. The feasibility report of Daral Khwar, Ranolia Machai hydel projects were completed with the assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the construction work on these projects would be started by the end of the current year, he added. Similarly, mega hydel projects costing millions of US dollars were under construction by WAPDA, he said, adding that these projects include Allai Khwar (121 MW), Duber khwar (130MW), Kheyal Khwar (130MW), Khan Khwar (72 MW), Golen Gol (106MW) and Gomal Zam Dam (17.4MW). He said that NWFP could produce 864 MW of electricity if only the feasible hydel projects in Swat valley were completed that would help in overcoming the power shortage that has badly crippled different activities of life.