Chinese fiscal assistance is allowing Pakistan to begin rebuilding its energy infrastructure in its portion of the contested Himalayan state, which it labels “Azad Kashmir,” heavily damaged during last year’s flooding.
A senior official at the Planning Commission told journalists, "The main objective of the project is the restoration of the power supply to the flood affected areas in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) which were fully or partially damaged due to floods in July-August 2010.
The reconstruction of the distribution infrastructure in AJK will reverse the devastating impact of the flood, reviving the areas’ economic activity and enabling the people to return to normal life and to provide electricity to the areas which were turned into dark due to damage of electrical works. This project will support the AJK government to achieve targets for revenue collection from the industrial, agriculture and social sectors."
The 2010 floods, heavy rains and landslides damaged 11 0.4 kilowatt lines, distribution transformers and other equipment throughout Azad Kashmir and the recent government initiatives are intended to restore and rehabilitate the province’s power infrastructure to pre-flood levels, the Pakistan Observer reported.
Planning Commission analysts speaking on condition of anonymity noted, "The project is the rehabilitation and not a new project. The sponsors may justify annual operating and maintenance costs as the project is not a new project and is part of the original projects."
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com