Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday distributed 15,485 solar lamps among students of Bahawalpur division. A total of 200,000 lamps will be distributed across the Punjab under the Rs2.5 billion Ujala programme.
Addressing the ceremony at the Islamia University Bahawalpur, Sharif said that the distribution was on academic merit. He said the Ujala programme was meant to reward talented students.
“Today is the beginning of a new era for a brighter future of our young generation,” the chief minister said.
Students with more than 60 per cent marks in their final examinations are being given a Rs12,000 lamp each free of cost. The lamp’s average life is said to be around 20 years.
Sharif thanked the Chinese firm that provided the lamps.
Sharif said the federal government had deprived the students of the light but he would ensure that they got it back.
“Had these lamps been purchased by President Zardari, he would have certainly charged Rs120 million for the free electricity.”
He alleged that President Zardari and his party were responsible for the energy crisis.
The chief minister urged the students to fully benefit from the lamps. He said that the uncontrolled power load-shedding had paralysed the entire set-up of the country and had ruined the national economy, the industries, agriculture and the students’ lives.
He said that only PML-N leadership was capable to leading the country out of the crises it was facing.
On new provinces
Commenting on the proposed Bahawalpur-South Punjab province, Sharif said that his party was opposed to the commission’s recommendation. He said there was a conspiracy to divide the people along ethnic lines. He said the PML-N had made it clear that they will always support the people’s demands and respect the Constitution of Pakistan.
“We will set-up two provinces according to the will of the people and the resolutions of the Punjab Assembly.”
He said the Bahawalpur province would have its own provincial assembly and capital. Multan would be the capital of South Punjab province. He alleged that the PPP government was fooling the innocent people and trying to district their attention from the real issues.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2013.