Federal Minister for Energy (Power Division) Eng. Khurram Dastagir Khan on Thursday inaugurated 220 kilometer Matiari - Thar 500 KV Quad Bundle transmission line completed by National Transmission Dispatch Company (NTDC) at the cost Rs. 20 billion in the record time of four months on the directives of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
While addressing a press conference before inauguration of the the transmission line here at a local hotel, Federal Minister Khurram Dastagir termed it a revolutionary project, that is totally indigenous and would transmit the cheapest electricity generated from local coal of Thar to all over the country.
He said actually this transmission line has to be completed four years ago but due to the inability of the previous government, it could not have completed.
With the hectic efforts of MD NTDC and his whole team, this project has been completed within four months period as directed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Federal Minister said and added that the NTDC also saved Rs. 1 billion by completing it at the cost of Rs. 20 billion with the help of 5 local companies.
Khurram Dastgir said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the current federal government had started producing 1980 megawatts of new and cheap electricity from Thar coal.
He said that the power generated from Thar coal would be dispatched to the national grid through Matiari-Lahore transmission line which was a part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
He said first time in our history, the high power cables, transformers and the conductors are being made through local companies which saved foreign currency reserves.
The federal minister said that no one could deny that the economic conditions were bad, the inflation was on the rise, but we had to bring the country out of this difficult situation.
He said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and allied parties; Pakistan People's Party, JUI, MQM and parties of Balochistan and KP were busy trying to get the people of the country out of trouble.
While criticizing the opponents, the federal minister said that he came here on the directions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and want to give a message that if they (opponents) were destroying facilities then we would continue in building these facilities.
He said that the NTDC with the support of sensitive agencies and DIG Hyderabad had eliminated the theft of billions of rupees of transmission line cables and conductors.
Commenting on the May 9 and 10 incidents, Khurram said national buildings and statues of our martyrs were vandalized by miscreants belonging to a political party and no one would be allowed to tarnish the image of the country.
Replying to a question regarding power outages and transformer repair issues, Eng. Khurram Dastagir said that load-shedding was being carried out due to the line losses while there was no shortage of electricity in the country.
He said modern vehicles with safety equipment were handed over to HESCO management which will be used for the repair of the transformers without removing it from the site.
He urged the electricity consumers to cooperate with HESCO in mitigating the losses and pay their power bills in time so that load shedding can be curtailed.
Replying to a question regarding handing over of power distribution companies to the provinces, the federal minister said that this was a complex and legal matter and it would take time to materialize.
Earlier, the federal minister visited HESCO headquarter and handed over 15 modern vehicles equipped with safety measures to the Company's chief executive officer. These vehicles were purchased at the cost of Rs. 230 million and would be used by technical staff in repairing the power transformers at the site, the HESCO spokesman said.
Later, the minister along with State Minister Hashim Notezai, MD NTDC, PML(N) Sindh president Sayed Dhsh Muhammad Shah, MNA Khealdas Kohistani, HESCO chief Myzafar Abbasi and others visited the shrine of Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai at Bhit Shah and offered fateha for the prosperity of the country.