ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) met on Wednesday here in Parliament House with its Chairman, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, in the chair.
The Committee was given briefing on energy related projects pertaining to the CPEC by the Minister for Water & Power, Khawaja Asif and the Secretary, Mr. Younas Dhaga.
The Parliamentary Committee was briefed on 14 Early Harvest projects of energy which would be completed in March 2018 and which would be in a position to generate electricity of 10400 MW. Additionally, two transmission lines would be built from Matiari to Lahore with a length of 880 km, which will transmit 4000 MW of electricity for the first time the government has initiated the project to upgrade and modernise transmission lines.
The Committee was briefed about each of the projects, including actively promoted projects for the medium term which would generate 6645 MGWTs and its various dimensions as well as locations. The Parliamentary Committee appreciated efforts being made for achievement of CPEC through implementation of decisions unanimously arrived at the All Parties Conference convened on May 28 at the PM House.
The Committee expressed concerns on allowing of imported coal for coal generation power projects and expressed the hope that coal will also be mined indigenously, especially from Thar and other coal mining areas, so that dependence on imported coal is shed.
The Committee expressed the hope that environmental concerns would be given priority on the energy projects so that the protection of environment and promotion of clean and green energy remain paramount priorities for power projects in Pakistan.
The Committee also gave a direction to the Ministry of Water & Power to do a mapping survey of the wind corridor in Balochistan and Khyber Pakntunkhwa so that a conducive environment can be created for investors keen on investing in renewable energy in both these provinces.
The Committee expressed satisfaction at the fact that its proposal for a dual carriage of the Western route, which they decided on October 26, had been accepted at the last week’s Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting held between China and Pakistan in Karachi.
Senator Mushahid Hussain briefed the Parliamentary Committee about his meeting with the Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan, Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman and said that the people and Government of Gilgit Baltistan would be kept in the loop and the Chief Minister of GB would be invited as a special invitee.
At the meeting, the Chief Minister, GB was represented by the Senior Minister for Finance and Water and Power, Haji Akbar Taban. Senator Mushahid Hussain told the media the Parliamentary Committee would visit Gwadar on November 28-29 for a comprehensive briefing on the Gwadar port and its related projects pertaining to the CPEC and members of the Committee would be traveling from the starting point of the Western route from Gwadar to Ratto Dero, a strip of 670 km to inspect the Western route.
The meeting approved the minutes of its last meeting and some members of the Committee asked specific questions on power projects whose answers would be provided in next meeting in December. The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee, Senator Mushahid Hussain also directed the Ministry of Water & Power to resolve the issues of land acquisition pertaining to the Sukki Kenari power project in KpK and in this regard, he said that the Ministry should coordinate with Senator Salahuddin Tirmizi who has been appointed by the Committee as the Coordinator to resolve the issue of land with the people and sponsors of the project within the month of November. The meeting ended with a mutual vote of thanks.
The members who attended the meeting include Akram Khan Durrani, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Talha Mehmood, Hasil Bizenjo, Gen. Tirmizi, Fateh Mohammad Hasni, Shibli Faraz, Asad Umar, Gen. Qadir Baloch, Baz Mohammad Khan, Rana Afzal, and Secretary, Parliamentary Committee on CPEC, who is also Secretary, National Assembly, Mohammad Riaz, and Additional Secretary, Qamar Suhail Lodhi.