ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf informed the National Assembly on Wednesday that twenty-nine new power projects with a combined capacity of about 11027 megawatt have launched by the present government to reduce the power demand and supply gap. He told the House during question hour that three public sector generation projects are under various stages of completion with an investment of about 105 billion rupees.
These included 747 megawatt Combined Cycle Power Plant, 525 megawatt Combined Cycle Power Plant Chichokimallina and 425 megawatt Combined Cycle Power Plant Nandipur. The Minister said land acquisition for Diamir Bhasha Dam project is in progress while thirty-two medium and small dams would be constructed in the four provinces.
He said Mangla Dam Raising Project has been substantially completed but urban development works and resettlement of the affected people is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The Minister said several Chinese companies have shown interest in developing power projects in the country. Two wind power projects by Chinese companies are in different stages of development and proposals of some others are being processed.
He said one Chinese company is developing a 50 megawatt power project in Jhampir in Thatta district. The company has signed an MOU with Alternative Energy Development Board for developing 500 megawatt wind power projects in the country. The House was informed that bottled water marketed by nineteen companies has been declared unsafe by Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources.
Replying to a question, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said that payments to newspapers to the tune of about 720 million rupees on account of advertisements was due for the period 2000-08. He said some of the payment has been made despite resource constraints with a view to supporting the newspaper industry. NNI