During his address to the nation on August 19, 2013, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif regretted the corruption, inefficiency and wastage of national wealth on two massive hydropower projects i.e. 425 MW Nandipur Power Project and 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Power Project and vowed to complete these national projects. About Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Power Project, he rightly said that it was very disturbing to note the way this project of national importance was dealt with. The government had displayed bad administration, carelessness and incompetence, and regretted that Rs 274 billion would have to be spent on this Rs. 85 billion project. Moreover, he said “I have directed completion of this project by 2016,” and pointed that surprisingly the transmission system was not included in the project.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is according great importance to complete of these two projects by not only visiting the project site immediately after taking over as Prime Minister but also directed the authorities concerned to ensure completion of project one year ahead of schedule. The Neelum-Jhelum project’s early completion is of immense importance to Pakistan to avoid a permanent loss of Rs. 30-35 billion per annum for ever if failed to construct before India i.e. loss of water storage priority right as per Indus Water Treaty. Moreover, this project will start producing about 1000 MW cheap electricity within tenure of his government to reduce loadshedding bringing hope.

Unfortunately, Ministry of Finance has failed to keep pace with the desire of The Prime Minister. The completion of this project on schedule or before schedule is totally dependent on provision of funds. According to news published in various newspapers no payments have been made to the contractors of the said project. This national project is facing serious issues and has already lost more than one year’s precious time due to non-funding by previous government. Therefore, I appeal to Prime Minister to provide funds to save the project on emergency basis. Provision of early funding will result in start of construction and storage of vital supplies before start of winter and snowfall especially at Nausheri area.

M M HUSSAIN,

Lahore, August 20.