ISLAMABAD, Feb 12 (APP): Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ch. Muhammad Barjees Tahir said the government was focusing to make a policy for establishing industrial zones in Gilgit-Baltistan in order to utilize locally produced cheap power. The minister said Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) was blessed with tremendous hydro-power potential which could not only fulfill the needs of the areas but also prove to be a cheapest solution to the energy crisis of the country.
He was chairing the meeting of GB Power Development Board on Wednesday in which Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah and Chief Secretary Muhammad Younas Daga also participated.
According to a press release issued here, Ch. Barjees said the provincial government should be authorized to attract private sector for small power generation projects.
He emphasized the need of a local grid for Gilgit-Baltistan and extension of national grid to the region to get benefit from the cheap resource of energy.
Board’s basic Structure and service rules were approved in the meeting.
The minister was informed that German Agency, GIZ, was agreed to provide financial assistance to develop hydro power in GB.
Secretary Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Division, Shahidullah Baig, informed the members of the meeting that a French Company was ready to help developing a regional grid for Gilgit-Baltistan.
The meeting was also informed that a Hong Kong based group under the name of Tri-GEN was also keen to establish a 1450 MW captive power plant in Hunza.
The Board also approved various proposals to attract foreign investors in the field of power generation.
Barjees advised the members to make arrangements so that electricity provision to the people of Hunza and Nagar could be made possible as early as possible.
Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mahdi Shah emphasized the need to make GB Power Development Board vibrant like other provinces and AJK.