PESHAWAR - Golen Gol electricity project of 108 megawatt capacity in Chitral recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was a leap step forward towards autarky in energy sector besides bolstering trade and business sectors and addressing the long inherited problem of load shedding forever.

The political and economic experts besides people of Chitral highly lauded PML-N Government for fulfilling yet another promise by constructing the long awaited project with approved cost Rs 29 billion that would immensely help provide inexpensive electricity to people of this mountainous district besides bolstering trade and business activities in KP in general and Chitral in particular.

Its completion was landmark step forward to make country self sufficient in energy besides providing uninterrupted electricity to people of Chitral with its overall positive effects on tourism, trade, commerce and infant industries. Sardar Aurangzaib Nalota, PML-N Parliamentary leader in KP Assembly told APP that following mega Lawari Tunnel project, Chitral Gol was another gigantic project completed by PML-N Government in record possible time, showing our commitment towards speedy development of KP and Chitral.

Following devastating floods of 2015 in Chitral, he said the federal government had directed Wapda to supply electricity generated from the first unit of the project to Chitral to meet the energy needs for socio-economic development of the backward and far-flung areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He said this quantum of electricity is three times more than the present requirements of Chitral, and will also cater for the surge in electricity demand in future.

The project will result in a new era of progress, economic prosperity and prosperity in Chitral, besides stabilizing the national economy by providing low-cost and environment-friendly electricity to the national grid besides reducing pressure on forest resources.

He said when PML-N government took over in 2013, 18 to 20 hours load-shedding was a routine problem that made life of people miserable besides marred industrial and business growth.

The PML-N leadership had announced to end load shedding in five years and political orphans are now hiding their faces from people after all promises made by PML-N leadership were successfully fulfilled, he said.

"The mass protests and agitation on roads and siege of PESCO offices that was a routine matter against massive load shedding in 2012-13 due to lackluster policies of past regimes, will see no more demonstrations in future as additional energy are being added to the national grid after completion of the ongoing mega energy projects in the country." said Sardar Aurganzaib Nalota.

Criticizing the previous governments for pushing the country into darkness of load shedding, he said the past governments completely failed to address the grave problem of energy shortfall resulted in unemployment, economic imbalance, poor economic growth and inflation.

The start of power generation from first unit of Golen Goal Project was a significant step forward to make country energy self sufficient, he said adding that this project will provide affordable energy to the people of Chitral besides the country.

The installed generation capacity of the project is 108 MW with three generating units having a capacity of 36MW each. The first unit has been completed while the second and the third unit will be commissioned in March and May respectively. The project will provide 436 million units of electricity to the national grid every year with about Rs 3.7billion benefits per annum.

Economics Expert Professor Dr Muhammad Naeem said uninterrupted energy supply at affordable rate was major requirement for successful growth of industrial and business sectors and Golen Gol project constructed on a tributary river of Mastunj in Chitral was a leap forward towards economic prosperity. "The project will also help the small industries to grow and increase their production, besides ending monopoly of large industrial units." he said. He said that electricity and industrial growth was directly linked and the pressing problem of unemployment and inflation could only be addressed by encouraging industrial and business sectors in the country.

Professor Naeem expressed the hope that Golen Gol project will usher in a new era of progress and prosperity in Chitral, besides stabilizing the economy by providing low-cost and environment-friendly electricity to people of Pakistan. They congratulated the nation on completion of the Golen Gol project and termed it a gift by PML-N government for energy-starved people and industry of Chitral.