It is heartening to note that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has excelled in developing hydropower projects in the province. The 69 MW Lawi hydro power project is the latest addition in this regard. Hydropower is still the cheapest of all the available modes of generating electricity in the country. The cost of generating power from hydroelectric resources is Rs1.25 per kilo watt hour, whereas that from coal and furnace oil is Rs14 and Rs16 per kilo watt hour respectively. It has been reported that KP possesses capability to generate 30,000 MWs of hydropower. Besides big projects, the province is busy in installing smaller and micro hydropower projects as well and handing them over to communities on ownership basis. This step is really commendable and deserves appreciation.
But, in Punjab, the provincial government is busy installing coal-fired power plants which would be run by imported coal. It’s a very costly proposition. The government shouldn’t lose sight of this cheapest resource. It should also look into building smaller dams to stop the wastage of rain water that is making its way to the sea. The government should revisit the energy projects and should put huge amount of funds into the hydropower projects. These projects which are ready with the feasibility studies should be initiated without any further delay.
Air-Cdre (r) Azfar A Khan