The chief minister on Monday once again held the federal government responsible for loadshedding and unemployment.
He was talking to delegations of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz workers from Green Town and Township who called on him at his tent office in Bagh-i-Jinnah.
Shahbaz Sharif said the two power plants at Chichu ki Maliyan and Nandipur – that have a generation capacity of 900 megawatts of electricity – could not be made operational because of the “federal government’s corruption”.
The machinery imported for the projects has been lying in Karachi for more than 18 months, he said, while the Chinese company that had agreed to install them has gone back home.
Sharif said the projects that had cost Rs70 billion needed Rs20 billion more to restart them.
Sharif said that the incessant loadshedding had not only increased unemployment but had also created many law and orders issues.
He said hundreds of thousands of people had lost their jobs as a result of the loadshedding, which had adversely affected the province’s industries.
“Now people have to bear the agony of loadshedding during Iftari and Sehr, but the leaders remain unmoved,” said Sharif. He blamed “the rulers sitting in Islamabad” for being unfair to the Punjab.
They have not made good on their promises and decisions regarding uniform loadshedding, he said.
The chief minister claimed that the Punjab government had not taken any aid from “aghyaar” (unfriendly states) since May 2011, “but the development projects in the Punjab continue.”
He also lashed out at the prime minister who he said had “gobbled up” millions of rupees in rental power projects.
Members of the parliament Naseer Ahmed Bhutta and Ramazan Siddique Bhatti, the commissioner, the district coordination officer, the Lahore Development Authority director general and the Water and Sanitation Agency managing director were present on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2012.