Friday, November 3, 2017

30,000 tube wells to be converted to solar power in Balochistan



The federal and Balochistan governments have agreed to conduct immediate feasibilities within one month for installation of 30,000 solar tube wells by replacing the existing conventional tube wells. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari under the special instructions of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The meeting was attended by representatives of the government of Balochistan, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Power Division.

The meeting took stock of the entire spectrum of converting the existing 30,000 tube wells on solar power. The meeting also decided that Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) will also prepare its technical proposal regarding smooth transition from electricity to solar power. It was decided that both QESCO and the government of Balochistan will jointly prepare workable document spanning over the technical modalities as well as financial proposals for installation of these tubules within the time frame.

Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari said that the government is paying Rs 23 billion per year as subsidy for these 30,000 tube wells and their conversion to solar power will result in lessening burden on national exchequer. Besides the conversion will also lead towards ensured power supply at affordable rates to the agriculturists yielding in increase in the productivity, he added.

He also noted that presently the capacity of these 30,000 tube wells is 900MW, and the conversion will also lead towards saving of the electricity. He said that all illegal connection associated with these tube wells will also be exposed and proper action can be taken. The electricity theft from these tube wells will also come to a stop, he added.

The meeting was informed that the federal government is ready to invest in the solar tube wells and will extend all-out support in this regard. This step is bound to encourage off grid solution for the far-flung areas of Balochistan in near future, the meeting was informed.

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