ISLAMABAD: The federal government and the Balochistan government agreed to take immediate actions, within a month, for the installation of 30,000 solar tube-wells by replacing the existing conventional ones.
The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Power Division Minister Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari under special instructions by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Balochistan government, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning and Power Division.
The meeting took stock of the entire spectrum of converting the existing 30,000 tube-wells to solar power. The meeting decided that Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) will prepare its technical proposal regarding smooth transition from electricity to solar power. It was decided that both QESCO and the Balochistan government will jointly prepare a workable document spanning over the technical modalities as well as the financial proposals for installation of the tube-wells within the time frame.
Awais Leghari, expressing his views, said the government was paying Rs 23 billion every year as subsidy for the 30,000 tube-wells and their conversion to solar power will result in lessening the burden on national exchequer. Besides, the conversion will also lead towards ensuring power supply on affordable rates to the agriculturists resulting in an increase in productivity, he said.
The minister noted that presently the consumption of the 30,000 tube-wells was 900 MW, and the conversion will lead towards saving of electricity. He said all illegal connections associated with the tube-wells will also be exposed and proper action taken. “The electricity theft from the tube-wells will also come to a stop”, he added.
The meeting was informed that federal government was ready to invest in solar tube-wells and will extend all-out support in this regard. This step is bound to encourage off grid solutions for the far flung areas of the Balochistan in the near future, the meeting was informed.
Published in The Balochistan Point on November 2, 2017