'Diamer-Bhasha Dam to mark new era of progress in NAs'
28 August 2006
The Pakistan Tribune
Islamabad: Diamer-Bhasha Dam construction would completely fulfill the energy requirements of Northern Areas after which there would be no scarcity of water and electricity resulting in rapid progress and beginning of a new era of development and prosperity for people of Northern Areas, said Maj (Retd) Tahir Iqbal, federal minister for Kashmir affairs here Monday. He observed this while addressing a seminar on 'practical proposals for utilization of Altered sources to provide energy in Mountainous Northern Areas' organized by Karakuram International University and Higher Energy Commission. The Minister said that President General Pervez Musharraf's water vision envisages mega projects for provision of water and electricity to the people of Northern Areas and after 2020 the electricity would not only be spared but the costs would also be extremely reduced. He said that mountainous regions of Northern Areas and the mountain people are an asset for Pakistan and government accords top priority to their socioeconomic development. He added that maximum resources have been allocated for launching of development projects in all the sectors of sustainable development in these areas and out of Rs 4.2 billion ADB, Rs 869 million are being spend on the power sector keeping in view the severe energy crisis. The minister added that policies and action plans for Tourism development, Mineral development and a forestation in Northern Areas have been prepared ad would be implemented in the next five years. He said that options including hydel power, wind energy, solar energy and nuclear energy are being considered for overcoming the power scarcity problem. He further said that by 2016 infrastructure in these areas will be fully developed which is the basic prerequisite for rapid development. The vice chancellor of the Karakuram University Dr Aziz Najam speaking at the occasion highlighted the objectives of the seminar and hoped the feasible recommendations would be obtained regarding the alternate energy sources for NAS during the deliberations.