Karot hydropower project to create 3,500 jobs for locals
LAHORE: Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing called on Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office, here on Thursday and discussed various matters of mutual interest including promotion of Pakistan-China relations, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects and expansion of bilateral cooperation in different sectors. Both sides agreed to expand partnership for investment in special economic zones, agriculture, technical and vocational training, tourism, social sector and public-private partnership.
The Chinese ambassador announced opening of a branch in Lahore for issuance of Chinese visa and said that Pakistani citizens would be facilitated at Lahore branch, which would become functional from the next month. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that China is a trustworthy friend of Pakistan and added that Chinese cooperation is appreciable for making a new Pakistan. Pakistan-China economic relations are touching new heights.
He said that CPEC-related projects are very important in the journey to durable development in the country. He said that the Punjab government is setting up new economic zones where Chinese investors will be given facilities and incentives. He said that Pakistan-China economic relations will be boosted through public-private partnership as the Punjab government is going to set up the Public-Private Partnership Authority. The durable development of the social sector is an important priority of the incumbent government and Chinese cooperation is appreciable in this regard. He said that the government is interested in utilising the latest Chinese technology in agriculture, tourism and technical and vocational training sectors.
The Punjab government is establishing technical universities in DG Khan and Mandi Bahauddin, he added. He said that a separate park is being set up in southern Punjab for promotion of agro-based industries. The Chinese investors should take benefit of investment opportunities in special economic zones. He said that Chinese development is a role model for Pakistan and Chinese experiences will be fully benefitted from by the government to make a new Pakistan. Usman Buzdar said that the PTI government is committed to elimination of corruption and far-reaching steps were being taken to bring back the looted money of people.
The Chinese ambassador said that Punjab is moving towards the journey of development under the leadership of the incumbent chief minister and added that investment opportunities in special economic zones will be benefited.
The public-private partnership will benefit both the countries as we want to further enhance cooperation with the Punjab government for development of the social sector. He said that China is standing with Pakistan in the journey of development and the historic China-Pakistan friendship will be further strengthened. Punjab has an important place in the economy of the country and China will extend every possible cooperation for expanding collaboration in different sectors, he added.
Chinese Consul General Long Dingbin, Chinese officials, Chairman PBIT, Chairman P&D, ACS (Home), Secretary Industries and others were also present on the occasion. Meanwhile, Karot hydro power project to be constructed with an estimated cost of US$1698 million having installed capacity of 720MW that would create 3,500 employment opportunities for local people during the construction period. The Karot hydro power project would have a reservoir storage capacity of 164 million cubic meter. The construction work on the project started in September 25, 2018 and would be completed in December 2021 said documents shared by Chinese embassy.
The project would generate power that would cater approximately seven million households and was expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3.5 million tons per years. As per the document, during the construction period, the project would bring accumulated tax revenues of US $23 million. It was expected that investment of the construction period would help to boost Pakistan’s GDP by about $154 million. In November 1984, the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) identified Karot among several potential hydropower generation sites.
The ranking studies were carried out by WAPDA’s Hydro Electric Power Organization for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and German consultancy firm GTZ. In 2010 environmental protection Agency of Punjab approved the environmental impact assessment of the project. In 2011 the environmental impact assessment of project was approved by environmental protection agency Azad Jammu and Kashmir.—staff reporter