LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday said a great deal of progress had been made in negotiation with world-renowned companies for investment in Punjab, while 22 of them were Turkish which wanted to invest in the energy sector of the province.

Presiding over a meeting held on the conduct of energy road show in Turkey, the chief minister expressed satisfaction over the success achieved in the show by Turkish companies in Istanbul and said the show would go a long way to help overcome energy crisis in Punjab.

He said the Punjab government had taken effective steps to generate power through traditional as well as alternative methods.

“Punjab has 540 million tons coal reserves, whereas it also has capacity to generate electricity through water and solar means. Turkish companies have expressed interest in generating energy through coal in Punjab,” the chief minister added.

Shahbaz directed the authorities concerned to not waste any time and should immediately start work on the installation of two plants of generation of 50 megawatt electricity each with coal. He said the Punjab government itself would make investment in these plants. He said the foundation stone of these two projects would soon be laid.

The chief minister directed that international tendering for these energy projects should be made in a transparent manner. The meeting was informed that, in the next phase, Turkish companies were holding a road show in collaboration with the federal government at Ankara on November 22.

“We are all Pakistanis and we must benefit from this opportunity, therefore a delegation of the Punjab government should also participate in the proposed energy road show,” the chief minister added.

Shahbaz said Turkish political leadership, especially President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mayor Kadir Topbas were taking personal interest in increasing cooperation with Punjab, not only in energy but in other sectors as well. MNA Ahsan Iqbal, MPA, Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Kh Ahmed Hasaan, secretaries of Finance, Energy and Mines besides high-ups of the concerned departments were present.

Also, the chief minister asked the departments concerned to adopt solid measures for keeping the City clean on Eid days as well as for disposal of offal of sacrificial animals.

Presiding over another meeting regarding the cleanliness arrangements on the occasion of Eidul Azha at Model Town on Tuesday, the chief minister said cleanliness arrangements should be ensured all costs while warning of strict action against those who set up addas on roadsides for burning “Siri Paays” (head and feet of sacrificial animals).

Shahbaz said the ban on the sale and purchase of sacrificial animals in the City should be strictly implemented and the business should be allowed only at the points specified for this purpose. He directed for setting up complaint cells for providing help to the public round the clock to keep the City clean.

The chief minister directed that volunteers should also be deputed for sanitary arrangements on this occasion. Lahore Solid Waste Management managing director informed the chief minister that special bags would be given to the citizens for disposal of animal waste while special centres were also being established for the collection of offal from where it would be taken and destroyed at Mahmood Booti and other specific places.

Shahbaz also took serious exception to the non-establishment of required number of mobile workshops by different bus companies to ensure repair and maintenance of buses. He directed the secretary transport and Lahore Transport Company authorities to ensure increase in the number of mobile workshops.