BAHAWALPUR: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Friday promised efforts to make first 10 MW module of 100 megawatt Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park operational early to facilitate people of South Punjab during Ramadan.
He was addressing a mammoth gathering at Islamia University auditorium after a ground-breaking ceremony of Solar Park in Cholistan desert that is expected to become operational in December 2014. The groundbreaking was performed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Pakistan’s first ever and biggest solar power plant will have additional 300 megawatt electricity generating capability by December 2015 and another 600 megawatt in December 2016 to become a 1000 megawatt solar power generating plant.
Shahbaz strongly criticized the May 11 protest call and questioned the logic behind it. He said the nation would reject the protest, pleading that it was against national development and prosperity of 180 million people of Pakistan.
He said that the PML-N government was endeavouring, round the clock, to transform Pakistan into a country envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Poet of the East Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
The chief minister thanked China for its assistance in a variety of initiatives to upgrade infrastructure in the country. He also thanked Chinese ambassador in Pakistan Sun Weidong and Chinese company TBEA that is executing the solar power project in Bahawalpur.
The project is a significant step to fulfil the promises the prime minister had made with the people a year ago to overcome the energy crisis, he said.
Harnessing the sunshine was the vision of the PML-N government and PM Nawaz Sharif and no other leader from any past government could come up with the idea despite the fact that the country has been facing power shortage for the last fifteen years, he added. He said that sand and sunshine of the Cholistan desert were like oil and gas resources and had potential to emerge as a big source of energy in future.
Shahbaz said that the US $32 billion package from China was a manifestation of friendly ties between Pakistan and China. It also shows Chinese government’s trust in the government and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he added.
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Ambassador of China in Pakistan Sun Weidong, Federal Minister Khawaja Asif, Sikandar Hayat Bosan and Riaz Pirzada were also present.