Government of Pakistan plans to build Balakot Hydropower Project in the district of Mansehra as a part of Clean Green Pakistan Project.
By Sayyed Shehzer Abbas
The Balakot Hydropower Project is set to be built on the Kunhar River and expected to be completed in 2026. According to reports, the project is estimated to cost around $755 million out of which the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to loan $300 million while the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will loan $280 million.
The project is of great importance as it is a step closer to a pollution-free, sustainable, and durable environment. It is believed that this Hydropower plant is to generate 300MW of electricity which will not only reduce the burden on other power stations but also provide clean and affordable energy for the coming generation.
Nowadays, the youth of Pakistan is more focused on making the country clean and green and this power station will help in that as our fossil fueled power stations will have a reduced burden on them. Recently, a climate activist, Hania Imran, protested in front of the Islamabad Press Club to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis that we are facing and how we can bring about a change. Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa said, “This project shows the strong commitment of PTI Government to address the challenges of climate change through the development of clean and renewable energy in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan”.
During the pandemic, many people lost their jobs and the unemployment rate drastically increased. The Balakot Hydropower project aims to provide more than 1,200 jobs during the construction of the project in KP and once it is completed, it will provide reliable and cheap energy to the national grid. Furthermore, it will boost the provincial revenue streams and improve the economic condition of the country.
Pakistan is listed among countries that are severely endangered by climatic changes. The Air Quality Index states that the country is the 2nd most populated in the world which is an alarming situation that needs to be addressed crucially. Projects like these are the hope for Pakistanis that their country will be a pollution free zone with affordable renewable energy.