Agri tube wells solarisation announced

Chief Minister says Rs40 billion will be contributed by Centre, Rs10 billion by provincial government

Our Correspondent May 17, 2024


The Balochistan government on Wednesday announced the conversion of 30,000 agricultural tube wells to solar power to address the scarcity of irrigation water across the province.

The decision was announced by Chief Minister Sarfaraz Bugti in a press conference with his ministers, marking a significant shift towards sustainable energy solutions in the province.

Addressing journalists, Chief Minister Bugti highlighted the successful negotiations with farmers who had been demonstrating outside the Assembly for the past week in the provincial metropolis.

“It is good that not even a flower pot was broken in the protest,” he remarked, expressing relief over the peaceful negotiations.

Chief Minister Bugti detailed the financial aspects of the initiative, stating that the federal government would contribute Rs40 billion while the provincial government would provide an additional Rs10 billion to this end.

“In a month’s time, all landowners will have tube wells converted to solar energy which will completely address their grievances,” Bugti promised, emphasizing the swift implementation of the project.

He expressed gratitude towards Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for his generous support, noting that the Prime Minister had accepted all demands put forth by the landowners.

“We are grateful to the Prime Minister. The long-standing problem of the landlords of Balochistan has been resolved at long last,” Bugti stated.

Bugti also highlighted systemic issues within the province, pointing out corruption at the Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO).

“There are some black sheep at QESCO who are involved in corruption in Balochistan,” he asserted, promising reforms and accountability.

Also touching on broader governance issues, Bugti expressed his vision for a more effective administration.

“The day gaps in governance in Balochistan are fixed, all the problems will be solved,” he proclaimed, while defending the right to protest as fundamental but not preferable.

Responding to concerns over job allocation and fairness in employment practices, Bugti assured that any complaints, particularly regarding the SBK test, would be thoroughly investigated.

“If there are any substantiated complaints, the appointments in question will be cancelled. No one will sell jobs in Balochistan under my government,” he affirmed.

Towards the end of his address, Chief Minister Bugti acknowledged issues of illicit poppy cultivation in Qilla Abdullah, signalling a commitment to tackling such challenges head-on.

The press conference concluded on a hopeful note, with Chief Minister Bugti reiterating his commitment to addressing the needs of Balochistan’s citizens and ensuring sustainable development through innovative solutions like the solar tube well project.


On May 11, in the midst of escalating tensions over unannounced load-shedding, farmers in Balochistan had taken to the streets and blocked main Assembly Chowk on the third day of their protest.

The protest forced Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti to meet the growers.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2024.


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