Pak bureaucracy stalls development work in POK

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Islamabad, Dec. 22 (ANI): Internal strife between Pakistan's Water and Power Ministry and the administration of occupied Kashmir is hampering development work of the region.

A shocking tale of shoddy work on the part of Pakistan's bureaucracy came to light when it was revealed that a controversy between the Pakistan occupied Kashmir's (POK) government and state-owned companies of South Korea has stalled the work on the 800 million dollar hydropower project on River Jhelum.

Passing on the buck to the POK government, the federal Water and Power Ministry has blamed it for hampering the work on the 500-megawatt hydropower project.

"The ministry (of water and power) got to know about the project only on receipt of the minutes from board of investment wherein government of POK's NOC (no objection certificate) was sought to proceed further in the matter," The Dawn quoted an official statement, as saying.

However, the ministry said that it has sent a letter to the POK government requesting the NOC, reply to which is 'still awaited'.

"This case has not been dealt in this ministry," a statement released by the ministry said.

While the government claims that it is pursuing 18 such power projects in the region, only one project of 84MW reached construction stage due to the 'bureaucratic bottlenecks'.

The Board of Investment (BoI) has also raised concerns over continuous delay in the projects, saying if the problems persists it would further prevent foreign companies from investing in the country.

"The statement was a message of concern that despite foreign companies interest in the construction of hydel dams in Pakistan, no dam has materialised so far," the BoI pointed out while referring to a statement issued by the power and water ministry.

The statement said that the government welcomes all private sector initiatives for power generation, particularly in the hydropower sector, and was pursuing 18 such projects in the private sector with a total capacity of about 6,000MW.

It, however, mentioned only an 84MW project whose sponsors had achieved financial close and had gone to the construction stage. (ANI)

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