Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has approved a plan to install 500 solar water pumps in 13 districts of the province that are dependent on rainwater for irrigation.
Presiding over a meeting, he stated that water would be provided for irrigating 2,270 acres of land after the installation of the solar pumps in the first phase of the scheme.
The solar water pumps can be installed individually by a farmer or jointly by 10 growers.
The chief minister highlighted on the occasion that drinking water would also be provided from solar pumps in small villages in the remote areas.
The pumps will also subsequently be installed in other districts of Punjab.
Chief Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal, former federal secretary Salman Ghani, the provincial secretaries of planning and development, finance, communications and works and transport, the director general of the Agency for Barani Areas Development (ABAD) and other officials concerned attended the meeting.
Earlier in the week, an investors’ delegation had called on Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi and expressed willingness to invest in solar panel manufacturing.
The chief minister had said that the provincial government had decided to convert the street lights system to solar power under a public-private partnership mode.
The Lahore divisional commissioner’s office, sports grounds and other institutions would also be converted to solar energy and a transmission and distribution company would be established in Punjab for the purpose, the CM stated. Earlier, the chief minister had announced the provision of solar pumps free of charge for the farmers affected by this year’s flood in the province.
The CM said the floods had wreaked havoc on a massive scale due to unusual rains. He highlighted that unusual steps would have to be taken in order to cope with unexpected climate conditions.
“We are giving solar pumps to the flood-affected farmers,” he said and added that a Pakistani-American businessman would support the initiative.
The chief minister had also announced a plan to install solar panels on the rooftops of government buildings under an energy-efficient buildings plan in the divisions. The government had announced that six district headquarters hospitals had already been converted to solar energy.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, former federal minister Moonis Elahi and MNA Hussain Elahi met PTI chairman Imran Khan and discussed matters pertaining to dissolution of the provincial assembly.
MNA Hussain Elahi vowed on the occasion to side with every decision of former prime minister Imran Khan.
CM Pervaiz Elahi said Punjab Assembly had been entrusted to him by Imran Khan.
He said the PTI chairman had nullified the politics of his opponents and those spreading rumours would fail in their designs as before.
Moonis Elahi said the PML-Q’s alliance with the PTI was stronger than before and it would welcome every call of Imran Khan.
Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan and PTI leaders Shah Mehmmod Qureshi, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry, Pervez Khattak,Shibli Faraz and Ali Amin Gandapur were also present on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2022.
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