KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari has said that street lights should use solar energy and special industrial hubs should be set up in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan, which are based on wind-generated power.
Speaking during meetings on developmental projects held on Tuesday at the Bilawal House in Karachi, he said that electricity geysers be eventually phased out of government buildings to save energy.
The availability of alternative energy options to meet the country’s power crisis, the implementation of the flood rehabilitation plan, the proposed plan of the Pakistan-Turkey cargo train service and the progress made on giving cell phones to all beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) were discussed.
In the meeting on flood rehabilitation and reconstruction in Sindh, the president was told that 20 high-powered dewatering pumps were supplied to four districts and another 50 were being supplied to other districts to drain out flood water. Some Rs700 million was required for restoring 2,400 kilometres and 27 bridges in the province and Rs1.4 billion for restoring 4,700 kilometres of roads and 130 bridges in districts.
President Zardari said that Pakistan offers promising opportunities for massive investment in alternate energy sources, as he said that all new houses being built in the rural areas of Sindh under Behan Benazir Basti Programme should be provided solar or wind power.
USAID has already agreed to build a 150-megawatt wind power plant in the coastal areas of Sindh to augment power generation. The meeting discussed the status of land allocations for the new wind power projects built by private investors in the country.
In Gharo, Bandar and Jhimpir corridors of Sindh, where wind speed is over seven metres per second, as much as 50,000 megawatts of power can be generated. The American company General Electric has already expressed interest in setting up wind energy projects and build ing fast track railway lines, with their representatives earlier holding meetings with the relevant officials.
The meeting on the proposed Turkey-Pakistan fast-track cargo train was told that the technical feasibility of project had been established and efforts afoot to involve private sector in financing. The president called for a meeting with private entrepreneurs, investors of stock exchanges to discuss raising finances for project.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2010.
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