ISLAMABAD: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the use of community infrastructure programmes and corporate social responsibility belt (CSR) funds.

The signing ceremony was held here at Kashmir House.

Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi, Nepra Chairman Tauseef H. Farooqi, Minister for Planning and Development AJK Chaudhry Mohammad Rashid were present on the occasion.

The MoU was signed to address the environmental and economic problems arising out of Kohala Hydro power Project, Gulpur and Krut Hydraulic Projects built on rivers.

The MoU was signed by Secretary Electricity Chaudhry Mohammad Tayyab on behalf of Azad Kashmir and Legal Adviser Irfan Gul on behalf of Nepra.

The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi while addressing the signing ceremony said tackling environmental issues was one of the top priorities of the government.

He stressed the need for close coordination between the state agencies and Nepra for the effective implementation of the MoU.

The prime minister said hydropower projects were essential for the growth of the national economy, but environmental and social problems arising out of these projects must be addressed.

He said it was necessary to take concrete steps and a comprehensive and effective strategy must be formulated in this regard. The change in the direction of rivers has created serious environmental problems in Azad Kashmir and effective planning in this regard is imperative.

Prime Minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi stressed that Hydro electric companies must allocate a portion of their revenue for the welfare of the affected population and provision of basic amenities to them and assured Nepra of full cooperation of the government.

He said the PTI government’s policies were for the welfare of the people and in the interest of the state.

The prime minister said the government did not believe in announcements and taking practical measures to serve the people to bring about socio economic changes in the lives of the people.

Nepra Chairman Tauseef H. Farooqi assured full cooperation to the Azad Kashmir government and said that NEPRA understands its responsibilities and assured full cooperation with the Azad Kashmir government in CSR and CIP but also in other related matters as well.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2022

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