LAHORE - Criticising the slow pace of measures to overcome energy crisis, the Institution of Engineers Pakistan has asked the government to immediately release funds to speed up work on power projects.

IEP Lahore Centre Chairman Capt (r) Syed Khalid Sajjad observed that the major coal power generation projects have been shelved by the government, while completion of Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project is being delayed due to shortage of funds. He asked the government to issue not only funds for Neelum-Jhelum for its early completion but also start construction of Kalabagh Dam which would generate 3,600MW electricity almost free of cost, besides storing 6.1 MAF of water with a life span of hundred years. He lamented that government’s own agency report admitted that the loadshedding is unlikely to end by year 2020.

The government inadequate steps and non-seriousness show that it will not end loadshedding even after 2030, observed the IEP chief. “It indicates the incompetence of the Prime Minister and politicians who are directly responsible because they are not listening to the voice of the engineers who are constantly insisting for the earlier construction of KBD since a long time. We are unfortunate as the experts’ advice is not at all being considered worthwhile which is against their own thinking, personal gains and vested interests. Presently politicians are the biggest enemies of the country, as they are not working for the welfare of public.” He appealed to the so-called politicians to leave their personal interest aside on this issue and should act in the best interest of the country.

He reiterated that construction of hydro projects including KBD is the only solution to provide electricity to the people and industry, as thermal energy is five times more expensive than hydel power.

“The Institution of Engineers Pakistan, along with the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, offers its services free of cost to the government under the leadership of Engineer Shamsul Mullk, ex-CM KP to help and assist the govt. “We solemnly affirm that we can design, construct, arrange financial support independently.”