Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit the site of the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project on Thursday to review work on the Rs 274.88 billion dam in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Sharif, whose government has accorded priority to tackling Pakistan’s serious energy crisis, will be briefed on the project being built near PoK capital Muzaffarabad.
The project envisages the diversion of the Neelum river through a tunnel.
After producing power, the water will flow into Jhelum river.
The Neelum-Jhelum scheme is a “mega project of immense national importance”, according to a statement from the premier’s office.
“Timely completion of this project will reduce the gap between demand and supply of power in the country. Moreover, due to its timely and early completion the government of Pakistan can claim water rights of river Neelum,” the statement said.
The project’s installed capacity is 969 MW, comprising four units of 240 MW each.
The original cost of the project was Rs 130 billion though the government later revised this to Rs 274.882 billion.
The cost escalated due to change in design and requirement of machinery after the earthquake of 2005, the statement said.
“With the expected completion of the project in mid-2016, it will be helpful in bridging the electricity shortfall in the country,” the statement said.