Rs4b solar project approved for rural areas

Sindh CM urges authorities to give preference to off-grid areas

Our Correspondent May 30, 2021


Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah approved a Rs4 billion solar home system project (SHS) being launched in 10 districts next month with the assistance of the World Bank.

He accorded this approval while presiding over a meeting of the energy department. The meeting was attended by Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh, Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, P&D Chairperson Shireen Narejo, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi, Energy Secretary Tariq Shah, SHS PD Shah Zaman Khuhro and others.

Briefing the chief minister, Imtiaz Shaikh said a Rs4 billion Solar Home System had been developed with the assistance of the World Bank. Under the plan, 20,000 households would be given SHS in 10 different districts of the province with a 50 per cent subsidy. The recipients would have to pay 50 per cent to the vendor, while the remaining amount would be given by the government.

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The 10 districts selected by the government included Badin, Ghotki, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Khairpur, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Sanghar, Tharparkar, Sujawal and Umerkot, Imtiaz Shaikh said. He added prequalification for the SHS supplier/vendor had been selected in two districts - Sanghar and Khairpur.

The chief minister was told that under the SHS program, PV solar plates, a lithium-ion battery, three LED bulbs, a DC fan and a mobile charging port would be provided. The chief minister directed the energy department to give preference to the less fortunate who were either living in an off-grid area or those who could not afford power connections.

The chief minister approved the project and directed the energy minister to make arrangements for its launch next month.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2021.