ISLAMKOT: April 10, 2019
By Ismail Bajeer
Chairman Pakistan People Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that completion of Thar coal-based power project is the manifestation of the good governance and service delivery by the PPP’s Sindh Government.
Inaugurating the open-pit coal mine and 660 Megawatts coal-based power generation project in Thar block-II in Islamkot on Wednesday he
announced that the people of That would get free of charge electricity.
He also announced that they would set up two universities in Thar—a campus of the NED University of Engineering & Technology in Tharparkar, and a multi-disciplinary university, which would be established under public-private partnership mode.
Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, former Sindh CM Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh also spoke to the gathering.
The PPP chief said on the occasion that the people of Thar have first right on the electricity being produced from Thar coal but under the agreement, the provincial government has no authority to provide electricity directly to people of Thar.
“Therefore, I have directed Sindh government to pay monthly electricity bill of domestic power consumers of Islamkot from its resources,” he said and in the next phase, a similar facility would be extended to rest of the Thar area.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also said that Thar was set to brighten entire Pakistan with its coal energy, therefore Thar needed a most prestigious university. “On my directive, Sindh Chief Minister has vowed to establish a campus of NED University at Thar in the first phase and then the campus would be made a full-fledged university,” he said.
The chairman said that the people of Thar have produced energy from Thar coal. “This is new Pakistan,” he proudly said.
[Prime minister] Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had vacated 5000 square kilometers of Thar land from India in 1973. “This is the same land from where we are producing coal energy,” he said.
Bilawal Bhutto said that April 10 is a historic day in the history of Pakistan and that of Pakistan Peoples Party.
“On April 10 Constitution Day of the country is observed because on this day 1973 Constitution was framed and on April 10, 1986, Shaheed Mohterma Benazir Bhutto after ending her exile had landed in Lahore where she was received by three million people and it is again historic April 10, 1919, when we have inaugurated first indigenous Thar coal-fired power,” he said.
He recalled that in 1994 Shaheed Benazir Bhutto after coming into government had visited Thar along with then Chief Minister Syed Abdullah Shah and had performed groundbreaking ceremony of Thar Coal mining and power plant. “Today, I on behalf of Shaheed Mohterma Benazir Bhutto and on behalf of Syed Abdullah Shah his son Chief minister Murad Ali Shah have inaugurated Thar Coal-fired Power Plant,” he said and added, “this is how the history is in making.”
Mr. Bhutto Zardari said “Thar power plant launching is not only the success of the country but it is the success of our entire economy and it is the success of the vision of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and it is the manifestation of our delivery of service and good governance.
Talking about the success story of Sindh government and M/s Engro public-private partnership (PPP), Mr. Bilawal said that the vision of national development on PPP mode was given by Shaheed Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. She used to say that the governments had limited resources, therefore it could not carry out mega projects single-handedly. Therefore, she gave a plan to involve NGOs, industrialists, developers, and investors- national and international businesses for executing mega projects. “Learning from her vision, the Sindh government has constructed roads, the bridge on River Indus and hospitals on PPP mode,” he said.
He said that the success of the PPP unit of Sindh government has been acknowledged by `The Economist’- a well-reputed international magazine and ranked Sindh at sixth position in entire Asia.”
Chairman Bilawal said that electricity was being generated from Thar coal and being pumped into the National Grid at Faisalabad. “This shows that Thar coal is passing on its energy to entire Pakistan,” he said and added “to some extent, here we are denying the right of people of Thar by not giving them electricity.