Pakistan’s PM Orders Probe into Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project Technical Fault

Thu May 16 2024
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MUZAFFARABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called for an urgent investigation into the technical malfunction at the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP), resulting in a suspension of power generation.
During his visit to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), he instructed officials at the project site to expedite the inquiry and provide a report within days.
The NJHP, with a capacity of 969 megawatts, encountered a similar issue in 2022 and again in April this year, following a previous suspension in September last year due to a fault in the head race tunnel.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the delay in obtaining findings from the recent incident, the Prime Minister emphasized the need for prompt resolution and restoration of power generation.
Highlighting the significant investment of $5 billion in the project, far exceeding the initial estimate, Shehbaz Sharif stressed the importance of identifying any design or construction deficiencies. He insisted on holding those responsible accountable and ensuring the project’s sustained functionality, considering its national importance in the power sector alongside the Tarbela and Mangla dams.

To ensure impartiality, the Prime Minister directed that the inquiry be conducted by third-party experts, independent of the project’s designer or contractor. He urged the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and NJHP Company to promptly address the tunnel repair work and resume power generation.
Acknowledging the efforts of WAPDA’s chairman and team in resolving previous issues, Shehbaz Sharif underscored the necessity of efficient operation and maintenance to safeguard the project’s longevity and contribution to the nation’s power supply.

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