For a greener Pakistan
Muhammad Aftab Alam has always been dreaming of making Pakistan, his beloved motherland, a greener and more environmentally friendly country and that is exactly what he has been doing these years. Joining Karot HPP, one of the early-harvest high-priority projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is his choice.
“I have always been motivated to contribute to the development of my motherland Pakistan and it was the best opportunity to work on a project under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has larger impacts in the sustainable development of Pakistan,” said Muhammad Aftab Alam, a proud Pakistani from Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), has been devoting years to environmental protection in Pakistan.
Back then he was busy absorbing knowledge in Chemistry, Sustainable Development, and Energy Planning during his school days. After graduation, he once served as Assistant Director in Environment Protection Agency Government of AJK for 7 years, as HSE Compliance Officer for Earthquake Emergency Assistance Project in AJK for 3 years and as Manager HSE on IFC funded 150 MW Patrind Hydropower Project for 4 years.
In a new turn for his veteran career, Muhammad Aftab Alam joined Karot Power Company (Pvt) Limited (KPCL) in 2015 as a Senior Manager HSE. “I have been working with different companies for many years and dealt with different kind of projects including Hydropower Project. But my experience in Karot Hydropower Power Project is quite different,” Alam told the reporter.
Pakistan is in dire need to develop clean energy. Muhammad Aftab Alam chose Karot Power Company to pursue his dream, that is, to make Pakistan, his beloved motherland, a greener and more environmentally friendly country.
KPCL incorporated on 31 July 2010 with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) responsible for executing 720MW Karot Hydropower Plant (Karot HPP). The main sponsor of Karot HPP is China Three Gorges South Asia Investment Limited, which is an investment arm of China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) in South Asia. Karot HPP is among the early-harvest high-priority projects under CPEC. The run-of-river project has iconic importance being a source of sustainable, low-cost, clean and green energy.
“The position offered by Karot HPP was the best choice to strengthen my personal and professional capacity and it was a unique opportunity to work with CTG, the world leader in hydropower sector,” Alam noted, adding that the interaction was life changing. “The project has changed my life not merely by making me professionally sound, rather it rewarded me considerably to improve my financial condition that ultimately had a huge positive impact on my social life as well.”
At work Alam is a responsible and outstanding employee. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been constantly staying on site. During the months of May/June 2020, he had to monitor and manage HSE aspects of the entire site in individual capacity. “It was a very difficult task which I did efficiently with an impressive result of Zero-accident on sites,” Alam said proudly.
“I am the very first employee of our company to be declared the Best CTGI Employee of the Year (2016)!” Muhammad Aftab Alam told the reporter, adding that he played a pivotal role in developing HSE management system as in the beginning he was engaged to develop various environmental and social management plans which were subsequently accepted by the IFC for the implementation of Karot.
“Karot HPP is one of the mega power projects and will certainly reduce power shortage and will provide renewable clean energy approximately to a population of 5 million which may include my hometown and will contribute in the sustainable development of Pakistan,” Alam explained, adding that as the tariff of Karot HPP is low, consumers in Pakistan will get relatively low-priced electricity from it. “It will also reduce carbon emissions as an alternative of coal fired plant generates 3,174GWh (net) of energy a year. Besides, Pakistan will produce its own energy without being reliant on international fuel sources as it is a domestic source of energy.”
Alam told us that it was a privilege to work on the CPEC project to promote and contribute to the sustainable development in Pakistan. “The socioeconomic profile of the adjacent areas will be uplifted through the project implementation. During the operation phase many long term job opportunities will be provided to the locals. During the construction phase, Karot HPP has not only contributed to enhance the professional, technical capabilities of the locals but also made them learn various social aspects of the project.” It was an excellent learning opportunity for skilled and semi-skilled workers and for staff professional growth through job training which will certainly help them get better employment at national and international, he noted.
“A comprehensive biodiversity management plan is in implementation which will improve the environmental profile of the area,” Alam added. He further said that eco-tourism may also be promoted as Karot HPP has a beautiful reservoir that may offer recreational opportunities. Under corporate social responsibility, benefits will be shared with local communities around Karot HPP to improve their quality of life. “I hope that Karot HPP will help shift Pakistan towards a greener economy by enhancing environmental, social and economic benefits.”
“The past six years in Karot HPP remained a period of learning with people of diversity,” Alam told the reporter. As per Alam, the company is working day and night to bring the endeavor near to the realization in compliance with international, national and CTG’s environmental and social standards, setting examples for all energy projects not merely in Pakistan but also in the entire world. “Without their committed efforts, remarkable expertise and professional attitude, the development of Karot HPP would not have been brought to reality,” Alam said.