Security issues force Chinese experts to suspend work on KP projects

A photo of the site of Karora hydropower project in Shangla. — Facebook/@DevelopingPakistan
  • Agencies told to make foolproof security arrangements.
  • Integrated strategy to be adopted for timely completion of projects.
  • Secretary of energy says KP govt should adopt security strategy.

PESHAWAR: Chinese engineers suspended work on hydropower projects in Swat and Shangla districts in July 2022 owing to the deteriorating condition of law and order in the country, The News reported Tuesday. 

A meeting, under the chairmanship of Energy and Power Secretary Nisar Ahmad Khan, took place on Monday that discussed the suspended operations. 

It was attended by Special Secretary Energy Tashfeen Haider, Chief Executive Officer Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) Naeem Khan, Deputy Commissioner Swat Junaid Khan, District Police Officer Shangla Aqeeq Hussain, Deputy superintendent of police (SDPO) Swat Akbar Hayat, Chief Planning Officer Ayaz Khan and other senior officers.

As per the official handout, the security agencies were told to make foolproof security arrangements. It said that an integrated strategy would be adopted for the timely completion of hydropower projects worth billions of rupees.

Naeem, while briefing the participants of the meeting, said that the team of Chinese engineers working on the 84 megawatts Mitiltan hydropower project in Swat suspended the work and moved to Islamabad in July 2022 due to the security situation.

The meeting was informed that a team of Chinese experts had also stopped work on the 11.8 megawatts Karora hydropower project in Shangla district since May 2022. The construction work on the project had come to a standstill and it was feared that the security threat situation and the delay could cause heavy losses to the province.

The participants of the meeting discussed various options to improve the security arrangements. Bullet-proof vehicles for foreign engineers would be arranged and foolproof security arrangements ensured. 

At the end of the meeting, the secretary of energy said that the provincial government should adopt a well-planned security strategy including establishing close contacts with the relevant district administration, police and other agencies so that work on the energy projects may not suffer.

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