Kalabagh Dam vital to country’s energy


LAHORE: Availability of cheap electricity apparently has become a dream for Pakistanis due to wrong policies of government but this dream can be accomplished by relieving this power and gas sector on the pattern of telecom sector and developing consensus on construction of Kalabagh Dam.

These views were expressed by the experts in Jang Economic Session on ‘how to ensure cheap electricity timely’, here Wednesday. The panellists were Economist Dr Salman Shah, former LESCO Chief Engineer Qaiser Zaman, Agriculturist Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, Mian Fazal Ahmed and Ch Aslam while hosted by Sikandar Hameed Lodhi and Intikhab Tariq.
Dr Salman Shah said the cheapest energy could be generated through hydel resources and construction of Kalabagh Dam was crucial for Pakistan’s energy need. He called for consensus on Kalabgah Dam by setting aside the politics.
He said Pakistan’s energy sector was completely controlled by public sector likewise telecom sector 30 years ago when every new phone connection was established on recommendation. However, now telecom sector is generating Rs 500 billion revenue and energy sector getting Rs 500 billion subsidy, he added. He said power sector should also be released from government control.
Jamshed Iqbal Cheema said foundation of costly energy generation was laid down in 1994 by focusing thermal power generation. He said country was facing 5,000 to 6,000 megawatt shortfall while generating only 6,000 megawatt hydel generation while this shortfall will reach 24,000 megawatt by 2025 if it is not managed. He said the government should remove all the obstacles hindering the construction of dams, use sugarcane bagasse for energy generation.

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