LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government is taking rapid steps to rid the country of energy crisis and that work on different projects is going on in this regard. Welcoming the assurance given by the World Bank (WB) to extend cooperation in the construction of Dasu Dam, the chief minister said that the work on the dam costing over $4 billion would be started soon.
According to a handout, the chief minister expressed these views while talking to WB Country Director Rashid Bin Masood who called on him on Saturday. WB Water Resources Expert Masood Ahmad was also present on the occasion.
The bank agreed to promote cooperation in ongoing development projects in various social sectors, including energy.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the WB’s cooperation in energy, education, health, agriculture, irrigation and other sectors was a good omen. He said that transparency, merit and good governance have been promoted in Punjab and that the programmes of providing relief and best services to the masses were continuing successfully.
The chief minister said that resources saved under austerity policy were also being spent on welfare of public and that all necessary resources have been provided for early completion of energy projects.
Shahbaz Sharif said that work on the first solar project of the country in Cholistan, Bahawalpur, was continuing and that this project would be completed before stipulated period. He said that this project would start generating 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity by December in the first phase while it would produce a total of 1,000 MW of electricity in the next two years.
The chief minister said that round the clock work on the Nandipur Power Project was going on and that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would inaugurate first turbine of the project by the end of this month.
He said that a comprehensive mechanism would be evolved with the cooperation of the World Bank to launch small hydro projects in the province. He said that projects of national importance like Dasu Dam should have been started many years ago but that previous rulers paid no attention to this matter. He reiterated that the cooperation of the World Bank in construction of big dams to help overcome energy crisis was commendable.
WB Country Director Rashid Bin Masood said that the bank would continue cooperation in energy projects along with cooperation in agriculture, irrigation and education sectors.
He said that pace of work on ongoing projects in these sectors was highly satisfactory. He said that the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was implementing various programmes expeditiously.
Agriculture Minister Dr Farrukh Javed, Irrigation Minister Yawar Zaman, chief secretary, planning and development secretary and other senior officials were present.
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