The Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park project, Bahawalpur will start producing 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity by the end of the current year, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Saturday.
He was talking to a delegation of Chinese company, Zonergy, led by its president Yu Yong.
During the meeting, it was agreed to speedily complete work on the 900MW solar project. “Work has been started on the first solar project at Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). A 50MW unit at the park will start generating electricity on August 14. The project will start producing 300MW electricity by the end of current year,” he said.
The chief minister stated that the project would be completed quickly. “The upgrade of transmission lines is continuing for adding the electricity generated by the solar project to the national grid. All departments concerned are working with mutual coordination,” he said.
He said that projects started under the CPEC were of great importance. “A great beginning has been made under the CPEC for removing darkness from the country. The Rs140 billion investment for the solar project is a purely Chinese venture,” he said.
He said that the government was taking steps to deal with the shortage of energy. “Electric power load-shedding in Pakistan will be reduced to a large extent by 2017-18,” he said.
Yu Yong assured the chief minister that all possible cooperation would be extended for setting up the solar project. He said that the Chinese leadership highly respected Shahbaz Sharif. “All efforts will be made to complete the project within the stipulated time,” he said.
An international delegation, led by International Polio Plus Committee Chairman and Rotary Foundation Vice Chairman Michael McGovern met the chief minister.
Steps to eliminate polio were discussed at the meeting.
Sharif said that coordinated measures had been taken for the elimination of polio from the province which had yielded positive results. “Due to government’s efforts, the Punjab has become a polio-free province. No case of polio has been reported in 2015. An anti-polio task force has been constituted in the Punjab. All DCOs are members of this task force,” he said.
He said that the administrative machinery had been activated for eradicating polio in the Punjab. “Political and administrative teams are working with devotion and dedication for ending polio,” he said.
He said that an anti-polio national action plan was being implemented for providing a polio-free environment to the coming generations. “Collective efforts will have to be continued for complete elimination of polio. This mission will be accomplished at every cost,” he said.
He appreciated the cooperation extended by Rotary International in eradicating polio.
McGovern said that excellent work had been done for elimination of polio from the Punjab under the leadership of Shahbaz Sharif. He said that other provinces should also follow the steps taken by the Punjab for eradication of polio. He said that Sharif and his entire team deserved appreciation for making the Punjab a polio-free province.
Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique was also present.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2015.