GUJRANWALA - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday inaugurated the first phase of Rs 95 billion Nandipur Power Project, calling upon certain opposition parties to shun their protesting agenda for the sake of national interests and lend support to the federal government’s efforts aimed at attaining fast track progress and prosperity.
The first turbine of 425MW Nandipur Power Project started producing 95 MW of power at the initial stage. The four-unit project would be completed by the end of this year in cooperation of Dongfang Electric Corporation China.
The prime minister said it was a matter of great pleasure that the first power unit of this project had started functioning in the record period of about seven months.
He said he had already laid down foundation-stones of two projects in Port Qasim with power capacity of 1,320MW, besides inaugurating another coal power project in Sahiwal with the same capacity.
The rapid speed with which the foundation stones of such projects were being laid and completed had never been witnessed in Pakistan’s history, he added.
Agreeing with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s views over the gross negligence and corruption of the past which made the machinery of Nandipur project rust at Karachi port for three years, maintained that a notice in this regard should be taken.
He regretted that due to such delay and corruption, national kitty suffered loss of billions of rupees. He also cited Neelum-Jhelum Project whose cost jumped manifold. He lamented that for completion of national projects loans were acquired and frittered away recklessly.
Prime Minister Sharif vowed to come up to the expectations of the masses. “We are not only completing projects in the areas where we got majority votes, but also in those areas where others got the mandate, he said, adding, the people who were raising hue and cry should also know that the PML-N government would continue with the network of development projects throughout the country despite such things.
The prime minister, “We will work throughout the length and breadth of the country. We shall work to complete Lahore-Karachi motorway in the current tenure and Rs 55 billion have been earmarked to acquire land for this purpose,” he resolved.
Calling upon his critics, the prime minister said the protesting elements should also reconsider that the government was working for the progress and prosperity of the country through unprecedented projects.
The PM also referred to Karachi operation which was initiated to restore its image of a city of lights and claimed the crime rate had been brought down there. He asserted they were consulting on daily basis how to root out the scourge of terrorism and extremism from the country.
“The agenda of protest is beyond my comprehension. Why they are agitating? Are they against progress and prosperity of the country, removal of darkness, creation of job opportunities, youth employment scheme, installation of power plants, Kashghar to Khunjrab and Raikot to Islamabad links or protesting against projects like Nandipur or the future ones?” he remarked.
He said they were working for good governance and stability of democracy in Pakistan, but some people were bent upon staging protests. He questioned if destruction of the country or its development was their agenda. “Let the country head on the path of progress for God’s sake,” he added.
He said the government was working on Diamer Bhasha dam with power capacity of 4,500MW, adding an amount of Rs 40 billion was allocated four days back to acquire land for this purpose. Dasu Dam would also generate about 4,500MW power, he revealed.
The prime minister said that during the last 65 years, a total of 23,000MW power was generated in Pakistan while some of the generating units faced closure due to obsolete technology. He said the government would add 21,000 MW to the national grid to overcome the power issue.
Appreciating the fast track progress in the Punjab, the prime minister said various uplift projects were being completed in a few months and not in years.
He said the railway upgrade was underway, revealing a railway line would be laid from Islamabad to Muzaffarabd. About Gwadar, the prime minister said the government was endeavouring to bring it at par with Lahore and Karachi. A state-of-the-art airport would be built at Gwadar to bring it at a par with Hong Kong and Dubai in terms of development, he added.
He thanked the Chinese leadership and the Chinese company for helping Pakistan in execution of various mega projects and vowed to strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation further.
He also lauded tireless efforts of Capt (r) Mehmood, director of Nandipur Project, the Punjab chief minister and government functionaries concerned for their contribution.
He announced three months’ bonus for all the workers on behalf of the federal government and an additional three-month bonus on behalf of the Punjab CM.
Speaking on this occasion, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif said efforts of the government for energy generation show its commitment and resolve to overcome the crisis. The Nandipur project would be completed by December and the last unit would generate 134MW electricity. He said the government would translate dreams of Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal about Pakistan into reality.