Self-reliance in hydel power

Chief Minister Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan, while chairing a review meeting on the implementation of hydropower project directed the high ups of Energy and Power department for the early completion of these projects to achieve self-reliance in cheap electricity generation for provision to industrial consumers. The projects, which are near completion, include Jabori hydropower, Koto hydro power and Matiltan hydropower, Executive Committee of National economic Council (ECNEC) has accorded approval to 157 MW Madyan power project and 80 MW Gabal power project. Construction work on Balakot hydropower project will start next year.

It was commented in these columns; several times that induction of cheap hydel power, generated by the hydel power stations in KPK will not give benefit to all sections of the consumers as it will be indeed a futile exercise of throwing a droplet in an ocean. The provincial government took a landmark decision in May to setup its own power transmission and distribution company to boost industry and business in the province. It is worth appreciation that the newly established KP transmission and grid system company has been formally registered with the security exchange commission of Pakistan.

The NDTC has miserably failed to upgrade the faulty national transmission and distribution system. Hence, KP government will be providing Rs. 20 billion to PESCO for bringing improvement and upgradation in the long existing rag-tag power supply system. It remains to be seen as to whether the provincial government will be able to provide electricity to industrial consumers through national grid. In case of reliance on the distribution and transmission network of NDTC, the unaffordable NEPRA tariff will be applied, depriving the industrial consumers from the fruit of inexpensive electricity. How the tariff issues shall be resolved?