ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has lauded the inauguration of Mohmand Dam by the Prime Minister Imran Khan that would have the capacity to store 1.2 million acre feet of water and termed it a very positive development for the economy as would reportedly generate 800MW cheap electricity and help in reducing water shortage issue of the country.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pakistan was endowed with considerable water resources to generate cheap electricity, but this huge potential remained untapped as no major dams were constructed in the country after 1960s. He said a study of WAPDA had highlighted that there was 60,000 MW of hydropower potential in Pakistan, out of which only around 7,000 MW was developed so far.
ICCI President said that due to rising population, Pakistan was poised to become a water stressed country and urged that the construction of more dams was the need of the hour to avoid energy and water crisis in future. He said that energy shortage and loadshedding had a serious impact on the economy which necessitated that the country should focus on building more small and large dams to save its economy from further troubles. He said that China was the largest producer of hydropower and Pakistan should take benefit of China’s experience to produce hydropower. He hoped that completion of Mohmand Dam would bring multiple benefits to the economy including generation of environment friendly and cheap electricity for business and industry and storing sufficient water for agriculture sector and the people.
Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President ICCI said that Pakistan was heavily relying on imported fuels for thermal power that was very costly. They said that high energy cost has make Pakistan uncompetitive in the international export market. They said that hydropower was once a major source of electricity in the country accounting for 45 per cent of power generation in 1991, but due to lack of focus from policymakers, its share has dropped to around 28 per cent. They stressed that government should focus on cheap energy sources including hydro, solar and renewable sources in order to bring down cost of doing business that would give boost to business activities, attract more investment, facilitate the growth of industrial sector, promote exports, create more jobs and enhance tax revenue of the country.