MANGLA: Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated on Monday the refurbishment project of Units 5 and 6 of Mangla Dam aimed at enhancing its electricity generation capacity.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister termed the project a wonderful example of cooperation between Pakistan and the United States.
He said the total cost of this up-gradation project is 483 million dollars, of which 150 million dollars were provided by the US as a grant.
He emphasized the need for further enhancing bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and the United States in the field of trade and investment.
Alluding to the contributions made by Mangla Dam to the country’s economy, the Prime Minister said Pakistan cannot afford expensive energy on which annually twenty-seven billion rupees are currently being spent.
He underlined the need for exploiting indigenous resources including hydel, solar, air and coal to produce cheap electricity.
He said the present government has prepared a project to generate ten thousand megawatts of electricity through solar energy. He said a power project of 1320 megawatts has also been initiated at Thar to use indigenous coal for electricity production.
The Prime Minister regretted that the country could not fully exploit the hydel power potential of sixty thousand megawatts. He said apart from the extension of Mangla and Tarbela Dams, Diamer Basha, Dasu and some other projects have been launched. He said had these hydel projects been earlier completed, the country would not have faced much destruction due to recent floods as well as its reliance on imported fuel would have been negligible.
The Prime Minister stressed for unity to serve the country and steer it out of all challenges.