Reviewing Neelum Jhelum Hydro Electric Project

Every year, hundreds of development projects involving cost of billions and billions of rupees are listed in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) of the Federal Government and adequate funds are allocated for initial expenditures of the new schemes and continued implementation of the large number of on-going projects.
In the process of implementation, pretty good number of projects in different sectors suffer problems like slow progress, cost escalation and delayed completion besides host of other problems and as such are subjected to revision of cost and period for scheduled completion from time to time.
At the end of every financial year or even during it, the Planning Commission neither undertakes any exercise to ensure the projects so listed in the PSDP are going along smoothly and public money allocated is being utilized efficiently and properly nor the people at large are apprised about the fate of even major mega projects in different sectors.
WAPDA’s Neelum Jhelum Hydro Electric project is a classic example of being in the boiling pot for many, many years, delayed implementation and its cost being revised couple of times.
The Neelum Jhelum Hydro Power Project was a part of a run of the river hydroelectric power scheme in the country designed to divert water from river Jhelum .The power station is located in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, about 42 kilometer south of Muzaffarabad having installed capacity of 969 megawatts.
It was approved way back in 1989. Afterwards its design was improved to increase the tunnel length and its generation capacity as well. The project was initially commenced in 2002 and completed in 2008. But this time frame experienced significant delays mainly due to meeting the ever-rising cost following every revision. The October 2005 massive earthquake which devastated the region also required its redesigning in order to conform it to more stringent seismic standards.