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AJK can provide 20,000mw power on

cheap rates
M RAFIQUE GORAYA

LAHORE (May 02, 2011) : The Azad Jammu and Kashmir government can provide
20,000 mw cheaper electricity to Pakistan to get rid of the chronic problem of load
shedding of power permanently, said AJK Prime Minister Attique Ahmad Khan here on
Sunday. Talking to reporters, he said that Pakistan and AJK have vast potential of hydro
power generation.

Pakistan can produce at least 23,000 mw and AJK 20,000 mw electricity in a short span
of time, by even using old power generation technology, as there are natural falls and
flows of water in the mountainous regions.

He regretted that bureaucratic wrangling and red tapism are the major hurdles in the way
of harnessing the hydel power generation potential of AJK and Pakistan. "India has set up
Chenab Power Development Authority" in occupied Kashmir to produce thousands of
mw electricity from Chenab river, on which Pakistan has exclusive rights under the 1960
Indus Basin Water Distribution Treaty, "whereas we are not properly utilising waters of
our own rivers", he added.

He said that Chinese companies have offered to invest $32 billion for development of
Pakistan's water resources and hydel power generation. "A Chinese hydel power
generation company has offered to invest billions of dollars on the construction of Boonji
dam in Gilgit-Baltistan which would have the capacity to produce 7500 mw cheaper
electricity on run-of-the-river water. However, due to bureaucratic red tapism and
indecision on the part of the concerned quarters, the project is in the doldrums," he said.

The AJK Prime Minister said Pakistan is implementing two mega hydel power projects in
Azad Jammu and Kashmir--Rs 120 billion Mangla dam raising project, and Rs 200
billion Neelam Jhelum Hydel power project at Noseri in Muzaffarabad district--to get
about 1200 mw more hydel electricity--969 mw from NJ project, and 250 mw additional
electricity from the raised Mangla dam.

He said that work on Kohala Hydel Power Project of 1100 mw on river Jhelum is yet to
be started, though several international agencies have offered to finance the project.
"Funding for water and energy sectors is no problem for Pakistan, as the World Bank,
Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Fund, Kuwait Fund and
other oil-rich Islamic countries have indicated to finance such projects," AJK Prime
Minister insisted.
Attique said that AJK government has identified 201 water conservation projects, of
which paperwork on 26 projects has been completed. "We can solve our economic
problems, especially unemployment of youth, only by developing our water and hydel
power generation resources as it will also substantially curtail our oil import bill", he
added.

With regard to supply of 626 cusecs water from the raised Mangla dam--200 cusecs for
drinking and 426 cusecs water for irrigation purposes to Azad Kashmir--the AJK Prime
Minister said that under the agreement signed between Government of Pakistan and AJK
in 2003 Pakistan is bound to supply this water before filling the dam to the level of 1220
ft above sea level. He said he was surprised that the Sindh Chief Minister, Qaim Ali
Shah, had raised objections to supply of this small quantity of water to AJK from whose
territory millions of acre-feet water in rivers Jhelum and Neelam flows to Pakistan.

The AJK Prime Minister said that Pakistan and India are not sincerely implementing
agreement of the cross Kashmir trade and travel service on the heavily-militarised Line of
Control (LoC). He called upon the two governments to increase the trade volume and
allow the traders of divided territory to meet frequently at the LoC. He further demanded
that items of trade be increased from 21, and several other land trade routes, up to Kargil,
be opened for improving the trade volume and people to people contacts.

Attique said that the AJK government is rebuilding the infrastructure which was badly
damaged in 2005 devastating earthquake and 2010 flash floods in the Azad territory. He
said development of tourism in the scenic Jammu and Kashmir valley, spread of technical
education, creation of jobs for the educated Kashmiri youth are the main priorities of his
government.