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$57m 100MW solar power plant being installed in Layyah: Firdous

By Our Correspondent
January 06, 2021

LAHORE: Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said the provincial government is setting up a 100-MW solar power project in Layyah at a cost of $57 million, which will add 200 million units of cheap electricity to the national grid.

She was addressing a press conference along with Punjab Minister for Energy Dr Akhtar Malik, after the signing ceremony of a land lease agreement for the project at EFU House, Jail Road, here on Tuesday.

She said the government would purchase electricity at the rate of only 3.7 cents as compared to 14.1 cents, purchased by the former government. She said the confidence of foreign investors had been restored due to transparent and investor-friendly policies of the government.

Dr Firdous said the government had entered into agreements with companies at the cheapest rates to supply electricity to industrial and domestic users. Unlike in the past, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was moving towards sustainable sources of cheap electricity and Chief Minister Usman Buzdar was determined for composite development of the province, she added.

Dr Firdous said the rights of people of south Punjab had been abused in the past, but now it’s time for compensation and the PTI government would fulfil all the promises made to the people and would complete sustainable development in southern Punjab.

The special assistant said the previous government caused huge losses to the national exchequer by implementing expensive energy projects and burdened the nation. She said the PML-N government focused more on Lahore and the development was limited to Raiwind only. The PML-N government was only interested in such projects which gave them high kick-backs, she added.

She said the Punjab government strongly condemned the terrorist activity in Mach area of Balochistan in which 11 coalminers were killed and the vandalism at a Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa temple.

Dr Firdous said hopelessness and helplessness was prevailing in the camp of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). She said the ‘Calibri Queen’ was making hue and cry in the desert of Bahawalpur, but there was no one to rescue her. She alleged that Maulana Fazlur Rehman forced madrasa students to take part in Bahawalpur rally. The PPP betrayed the PML-N whereas Maulana Sherani and Hafiz Hussain Ahmed had exposed Maulana Fazlur Rehman, she added. She said Maryam Nawaz’s narrative was different from Shahbaz Sharif’s. That was why Maryam always preferred the Maulana over her uncle and cousin. She said the wish of Maryam Safdar to get the highest status of political martyrdom would not be fulfilled. The PTI government believed in the rule of law, she added.

Dr Akhtar Malik said the 100MW solar power project in Layyah was the cheapest project in history of the country as the electricity cost of the project was Rs5.50 per unit as compared to Rs25 per unit of Quaid-e-Azam solar project, established by the former government. He said Layyah solar power project would prove to be a game-changer as it would create 50,000 job opportunities for the people of southern Punjab. He said the PML-N banned alternative sources of eco-friendly energy in the province due to kickbacks in the RLNG agreements, which the PTI government lifted.