ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power on Monday urged the authorities to shift Balochistan’s tube wells to solar energy.
A meeting of the committee, chaired by Senator Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, was apprised by Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmad Muhammad Shah that in several areas feeders were over-loaded, resulting in tripping and power suspension. He suggested that tube wells in the province should be run on solar system.
The committee members supported the suggestion and asked the ministry officials to take an initiative as soon as possible.
Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) Chief Executive Officer said this step would surely provide relief to the masses.
The committee was told that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed Zarai Taraqiati Bank to start easy loan schemes to facilitate the farmers in running their tube wells on solar energy.
Officials told the committee that Qesco was providing enough electricity but the recovery was only 4%, adding more power load management was being carried out in the areas where losses were high.
Shah said Balochistan was paying Rs12 billion in subsidy which should be used for shifting the tube wells to solar energy.
Senator Azam Khan Swati suggested that the federal and provincial governments should start the project jointly. There were 30,000 agricultural tube wells in Balochistan which also provide potable water to the people.
Senator Attaur Rahman drew the attention of the body to the scarcity of drinking water in Taunsa Sharif. He said the tube wells were closed due to non-payment of electricity bills and added the people were ready to pay their bills.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2016.