By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the first unit of Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project (NJHEP) in Azad Kashmir on Friday, terming the project a symbol of Pakistan-China friendship.
“This project concluded despite facing difficulties,” he said before boasting that this project would have never come to life if deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had not taken the initiative.
PM Abbasi while highlighting the Kashmir situation, urged to implement the United Nation’s resolution to end the atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
“The Kashmir crisis is a challenge for Human rights organisations,” he said adding “Pakistan has fought for the rights of Kashmir on every forum since the past 70 years.”
The Neelum Jhelum project is an underground facility of immense national importance in Azad Jammu and Kashmir with installed capacity of 969MW. Project has been completed at a cost of US $ 5.1 billion (Rs 515 billion) in 10 years.
First unit of the project inaugurated on Friday generates 242 Megawatts. Second, third and fourth units will be operational at one month intervals respectively , thus bringing the total generation to 969 Megawatts.
The project will provide about five billion low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid every year. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs 50 billion.
Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project is an engineering marvel with 90% of the project being underground in the high mountain areas. Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project consists of three main components i.e. a dam, waterway system comprising 52 km long tunnels and an underground power house.