President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) Mian Zahid Hussain has said that the government should try timely completion of the Diamer-Bhasha dam so that the history of Neelum-Jhelum power project could not be repeated.
Lauding the decision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to start construction of the first phase of Diamer-Bhasha dam, he said that the dam will have a capacity to store 6.4 MAF of water reducing the water scarcity in the country by fifty percent.
It is a great decision, which will prove to be a huge stimulus for the economy as it will create 16,500 jobs, generate 4,500 MW hydel power and irrigate over 1.2 million acres of agricultural land while enhancing life of Tarbela dam by 35 years, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussian said that the country progressed very well after the construction of Tarbela dam but later the governments promoted electricity generation though imported fuel and the hydel power sector was totally ignored. This resulted in costly electricity punishing masses and the business community, gave birth to circular debt and pushed the country to the brink of disaster, he said.
He noted the government in 2000 realised the importance of hydel power and decided to boost hydel power generation to 20000 MW by 2020 which could not be realised like many other important projects.
The Vision 2020 project would have tackled power and water scarcity, pollution and cut oil import bill to boost production and jobs.
Following the CPEC, the hydel power again came to limelight, rental power was ignored and the Chinese government as well as private sector started coal, LNG and hydel power projects as they are not focused on short term profits but long term gains.