ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah said the Dasu Hydro Power Project was a vital project would trigger a new era of socioeconomic development in the country and stabilize Pakistan’s economy by providing low-cost hydel electricity to the masses. The minister visited Dasu dam site the other day accompanying Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Naveed Asghar Chaudhry, project’s management, representatives of the consultants and contractors. He said electricity generation from Dasu Hydropower Project would commence in 2026 and tremendously contribute to cope with increasing requirement of the country by injecting sizeable cheap and green electricity to the national grid. He expressed satisfaction over pace of progress and directed WAPDA to complete the project within stipulated time frame. He also directed that the locals should be given priority in jobs on the project. A meeting would soon be convened at Islamabad with all the stakeholders to review self-managed resettlement package to address grievances of the locals, he added. Earlier, Khursheed Shah had a detailed round of the various components of the project including diversion tunnels and powerhouse complex and reviewed construction activities going on there. WAPDA General Manager and Project Director Anwar-ul-Haq apprised the minister that the 4320 MW- Dasu Hydropower Project was being completed in two stages. He said at present, WAPDA was constructing stage-I with installed generation capacity of 2160 MW and annual energy generation of 12 billion low-cost and environment-friendly electricity. The stage-II, when implemented, would also provide 9 billion units to the national grid, he added. On completion of the both stages, Dasu would be the project with highest annual energy generation in Pakistan i.e. 21 billion units per annum on the average. The minister was further apprised that Rs17.34 billion was being spent on CBM schemes by WAPDA for economic and social development in the project area. About 3,300 jobs, including 1,808 for locals, had so far been created, which would increase to 8,000 jobs during peak construction period of the project, he maintained.