CM’s Ujala scheme darkens Punjab’s energy production prospects

  • **CM’s Ujala scheme darkens Punjab’s energy production prospects


    **LAHORE - The Punjab government’s new plan of attracting voters by distributing solar lamps is a waste of precious funds since the provincial government has not initiated any significant projects for power generation, sources told Pakistan Today on Wednesday.

    The Chief Minister’s Ujaala Programme will cost around Rs 3.5 billion** and aims at distributing solar lamps to matriculation students who are enrolled in a government school and have secured more than 55 percent marks in grade 9. However, sources on good authority revealed that various proposals such as distributing electric fans and water coolers came up during deliberations, while solar lamps were preferred to enable students to study during severe power outages.

    “Basically, the project focuses on low-income households, especially those in the rural Punjab which experiences up to 18 hours of load shedding,” a senior official seeking anonymity told Pakistan Today.

    The official further revealed that the government had planned to distribute 200,000 solar-powered lamps, each costing a little less than Rs 12,000.

    Critics of the project, however, maintained that the Punjab government was trying to woo the voters through such short term projects that would prove to be very heavy on the national exchequer. “The government has allocated Rs 12 billion for power generation in this budget but no project has been initiated so far, while the government is again spending one-third of that amount on distributing solar lamps which is no solution to load shedding at all,” a senior official said, asking not to be named.

    The federal government had transferred the powers to generate electricity to the provinces after the 18th Amendment and the Punjab government had been facing a lot of criticism over its failure to generate electricity and for blaming the federal government.

    Talking to Pakistan Today, Energy Department Secretary Jehanzaib Khan said that the project had been initiated for the young students in the government set-up and had nothing to do with elections or voters. Answering a question, he said the government had completed the feasibility study of coal-based power generation projects and it would start off soon, while the chief minister had recently inaugurated a 4MW power generation project.

    He said that the provincial government was trying to find a long term solution to the load shedding issue.

  • The allocation for Solar/Alternate Energy power projects wasted on distributing solar lamps

  • Showbaz is worse than the former CM of Baluchistan, for the latter is straightforward about what he is, while the former is equally corrupt and incompetent, but plays "good governance, good governance" at a huge expense to the taxpayer. They say a bad dictator is better than a good dictator! This applies in this situation.

    Not one sector of life has been improved in Punjab in his rule - education, health, law and order, unemployment, energy crisis, take your pic and he has failed. Yet he is at the forefront in such dramabazi and there are his touts who will praise him for that.

    **He is a Texbook example of a charlatan and incompetent ruler.


    • He won't create dams; he would distribute lamps!

    • He won't create employment, he would distribute laptops!

    • He won't improve thousands of public schools, but create four "Danish schools".

    • He will spend a big chunk of budget on Metro Bus, while millions of people in the same province don't have access to basic facilities.

    What a shame!

  • Very sad indeed! and how shamlessly it is portrayed as a good governance :(

  • What a moronic argument against solar lamps, as if they are to be plugged into traditional power lines!

  • Another jerry-rig scheme is to give every factory worker a hand held windmill to power his/her part of the loom. A machine operator can borrow his child’s solar panel to illuminate the windowless work bench. After all, the “illusionist” cannot “enlighten” a class room under the sunshine.

  • @anasyounus

    Can you post a link to the source(figures).

  • @SLEP,

    Its budget document brother.

    Page 3 (Printed) of Development Budget dcument Volume-2

    Documents are available on Planning and evelopment department Punjab website.

  • Noo00ners are shamelessly financing their election campaign with the tax payers money they were entrusted with.

    Phir kehte hain ham jesa shehzada koi nai. Kher ab thora he waqt rehta hai.

  • @anasyounus

    I can't seem to find the document, would appreciate it if you could provide the link to the page.

  • Punjab is the first province to use LED based lights on large scale which would save millions of watts of electricity from legacy sodium and mercury based steet lights.

    Some examples are Canal road, new flyovers in different cities,, metro route, commercial road (Rawalpindi) and many more.

    However, PTI fans see just one province in Pakistan.

  • So rasheed this gives them the license to waste Billions on Solar lamps rather thn may be working on real power projects as was suggested in the budget document?

  • You smart-as*es should know that the energy sector or dam construction doesn't fall under the provincial domain. Yes, they can build power plants worth 50ish megawatts but that would hardy solve Punjab's energy crisis.

    Even if they are allowed to do so, a dam to store water and generate about 1000 megawatts of electricity would cost almost the entire provincial budget. So, be logical & realistic in your so-called criticism.

  • Between I was watching this report on Samma in the news today that solar lamps worth 18 crores have been destroyed with rain water because they were not stored properly.

    I mean .. Choro yaar thora he waqt reh gaya hai guzar lo

  • You mean any development work is electioneering! Don't worry, PTI is flourishing on trashing everything. Voters are getting well informed and they will payback squarely at the polls

  • ^^

    Development? Please dont waste anyones time.

    Giving you a laptop is development? Its bribing. Giving you a solar lamp is not development.

    Raising standard of hospitals and schools is development. This hasnt happened.

  • 9 Billion were allocated for Coal based Power projects in last year budget as well but were used elsewhere..

  • Yes, they can build power plants worth 50ish megawatts but that would hardy solve Punjab's energy crisis

    Not any more, No 50MW cap now

  • Do you have any idea how much would it cost to generate about 1000 megawatts? Punjab's shortfall is about 3000. Even if he has the money for that kind of project (which he doesn't) then there would be another hue & cry from you folks about not spending that money on basic welfare projects.

    He can't win you guy's even if he gets naked and and dances on the Motorway.

  • He can't win you guy's even if he gets naked and and dances on the Motorway.

    Try to kare .. who knows. :))