Altaf Hamid Rao;
MUZAFFARABAD,MIRPUR (Parliament Times): Beijing China-origin entrepreneur – Kohala Hydropower Company Ltd and Azad Jammu Kashmir government Friday signed an agreement regarding the implantation of water uses of the upcoming CPEC-sponsored Kohala Hydropower project being construction over Jhelum river passing through AJK’s capital district of Muzaffarabad. The project will produce 1,124 megawatt electricity costing $2.4 billion, it was officially said here on Friday.
The Azad Jammu & Kashmir Secretary Electricity Zafar Mehmood and chief executive officer of Chinese three gorges company signed the agreement. AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan and Federal Minister Hamad Azhar were also present on this occasion.
Kohala Hydropower Project, being built on Jhelum River in Azad Jammu Kashmir under CPEC, was awarded to the Kohala Hydropower Company Ltd (KHCL), which is a subsidiary of China’s Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC).
The project will produce 1,124 megawatt electricity costing $2.4 billion. The Project will create eight thousand jobs of youth for the local people of Azad Kashmir . The Azad Jammu Kashmir government will receive about 2.5 billion rupees annually in the shape of water use charges and the project will be handed over to the Azad Kashmir government after thirty year.
Speaking on the occasion Azad Jammu Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan said that Kashmiri people had always given tremendous sacrifices for the prosperity for the people of Pakistan and had played a leading role to overcome energy crisis in the country . He said Kohala , Neelum Hydro power projects and Mangla uprising projects were the glaring examples in this regard. The Prime Minister underlined the need for starting work on Mansehra –Muzaffarabad and Mirpur Mangla project under CEPC which were agreed by the previous government but the present regime has not given priority to this project. He thanked the federal government and Ministry for energy for addressing the reservations of the Azad Kashmir government regarding financial and other issues.
Haider expressed the hope that the work on this project will be started soon and environmental issues will also be addressed positively by the government of Pakistan .He assured all out support of the Azad Kashmir government regarding the completion of the project and said that state government will play its leading role regarding the execution of this project of the national importance. Speaking on the occasion the Federal Minister Hamad Azhar assured that the agreement reached with the Azad Jammu Kashmir government would be fully implemented.
He added that Azad Jammu Kashmir government would receive billions of rupees on account of water uses annually but besides securing tremendous financial support from the government of Pakistan.