LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif directed the Cabinet Committee on Floods on Monday to ensure implementation of protective arrangements in view of possible flooding due to rains.
Speaking at meeting held in this regard, the CM said that flow of rivers, canals and streams should be monitored round the clock. He said that Cabinet Committee on Floods should remain in contact with Meteorological Department regarding the weather situation. He said that immediate steps should be taken in case of an emergency. “The provincial and federal institutions should perform their responsibilities with effective coordination. Lack of coordination will not be tolerated,” the CM said. He said that necessary flood relief items, including edibles, should be stocked.
US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale and Consul General in Lahore Zachary Harkenrider met the CM on Monday.
Matters of mutual interest, promotion of bilateral ties and cooperation in various sectors, including the energy sector, were discussed. The chief minister said that relations between the US and Pakistan were multidimensional. “It is hoped that the relations will improve. Terrorism is an international problem. No country acting alone can curb it,” the CM said.
He said that collective efforts were needed for rooting out the menace of terrorism. “World powers should understand the problems of the countries facing the menace of terrorism. The present government is determined to make Pakistan a welfare state in accordance with the vision of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Equal opportunities are available to all citizens including various minorities in the country,” he said.
The US ambassador and consul general praised the development projects going on in the Punjab. They also praised the measures taken for elimination of child labour and protection of the rights of brick kiln workers.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatimi was also present.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif addressed a meeting to review energy projects on Monday. “A lot of work has been done under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to deal with the energy crisis. Some of the power projects were delayed due to sit-ins staged by those opposed to the development of the country,” he said.
The CM said that energy projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor were being completed speedily. “A 1,320 megawatts coal power plant will be completed by next year,” he said.
The chief minister said that the former governments had not paid adequate attention to the solution of people’s problems and misappropriated national resources.
“Gas-based energy projects will result in the availability of low-cost electricity to the masses. Work on solar projects is also in progress. Thousands of megawatts of electricity will be generated with the completion of several energy projects by 2018,” he said.
The CM said that the sincere efforts by the government would prove successful in resolving the energy crisis.
The chief minister said that journey of progress and development would continue. The Planning and Development Board chairman, the industries secretary and the Investment Board chairman were also present.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2016.
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