MPs see Thar as energy future of Pakistan

Parliamentary panel on CPEC visits Thar coal power project

Our Correspondent February 01, 2016
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed. PHOTO: FILE


Thar is the energy future of Pakistan, members of the parliamentary committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) said during a visit to the Thar coal power project.

The committee, led by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, visited different CPEC projects in Sindh during its three-day visit to the province from January 28 to 30.

Members of the committee travelled by road from Karachi to Mithi and Islamkot in the sand-swept Tharparkar district – home to indigenous coal reserves that are to be exploited for electricity generation.

Senator Mushahid Hussain told the Chinese and Pakistani experts working on the Thar coal power project that the visit of the committee members – comprising MPs from all federating units ¬ shows the commitment of the entire nation to support the project.

Upon its completion in 2018, the project will generate 1,330 MW of electricity from the coal mines from Thar.

Members of the committee said that Thar is the energy future of Pakistan. Thar Coal Project was a symbol of national unity too, the visitors said, reminding that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the then president Asif Zardari inaugurated it in January 2014, reviving the project after 25 years.

The committee members urged the authorities to hire local labourers and provide jobs particularly to the youth and women of the indigenous communities.

They also suggested establishing technical training institute for youth so that they may get jobs in the power project.

The visitors were taken to the water desalination plants in Mithi and Islam Kot where they expressed satisfaction on the provision of potable water to the people.

The solar hybrid water desalination plants in Mithi and Islamkot were supplying two million gallons per day (MGD) and 1.5 MGD respectively to the local community.

Earlier in Karachi, the Senator Mushahid Hussain led committee visited Port Qasim coal power project in Karachi. The construction of power plant is progressing fast and it will produce 1,320 MW of electricity on completion.

The committee called on the Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and briefed him about the purpose of the visit and the working of the committee.

During the meeting, Sindh government also presented proposals regarding energy and economic development. In this context, the parliamentary committee on CPEC invited Sindh Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah to attend the next meeting of the panel.

Shah said his team will present proposal for a seaport at Keti Bandar.

The committee also called on Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan at the Governors House. Senator Mushahid Hussain said CPEC project was above any political or provincial bias.

“During its span of 15 years, the CPEC project will unite the federation through progress and prosperity in various fields of economic and social development,” Mushahid said.

Members of Parliamentary Committee on CPEC who visited Sindh included Rana Afzal Khan, Dr Ibadullah, Asad Umar, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Akram Khan Durrani, Ghous Bux Mahar, Alhaj Shahji Gul Afridi, Salahuddin Tirmizi, Shibli Faraz and Mir Hasil Bizenjo.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st,  2016.


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