LAHORE    -   Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Thursday presided over a meeting at his office to discuss steps with regard to off-grid power solutions for remote areas.

Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that Cholistan, Thal, Koh-e-Suleman and electricity-less backward areas will be illuminated through solar energy and hundreds of villages will be provided solar energy in phases. Similarly, water supply schemes, agri tube-wells and schools will also be gradually converted to solar energy. He said the solar energy project will be initially started in Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Koh-e-Suleman, Fort Munroe and Rajanpur. “The off-grid solution is necessary to meet the growing energy needs and far-flung villages will be illuminated through it. It will also benefit people and the government will save billions of rupees. Similarly, waste-to-electricity projects are being reviewed,” he said.

Provincial ministers Dr Akhtar Malik and Hashim Jawan Bakht, ACS (energy), secretaries of energy, finance, P&D departments and others attended the meeting.

CM TAKES UP LWMC MATTERS

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar presided over a meeting at his office here on Thursday where the future model of cleanliness for Lahore and matters pertaining to Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) came under discussion. The meeting decided to increase the organisational capacity of LWMC to improve cleanliness system of the provincial metropolis. The chief minister said that required steps should be taken to improve LWMC capacity and its financial management. “Similarly, unnecessary expenditure should be cut and performance should be improved. Lahore should be divided into zones and work should be started to improve the cleanliness system. The solid waste management system should be better than the past after completion of the contract with the foreign company,” he said. LWMC and other line departments should be prepared in the wake of the emerging situation and no complaint should arise with regard to cleanliness, he said.

The chief minister said that professionals should be included in the LWMC board and it should move forward as a vibrant and active entity. He said that steps relating to cleanliness in the city should be adopted under rules and regulations and added that inquiries will be held where discrepancies and irregularities are found. Nation’s money will not be allowed to be wasted and the company has to deliver at any cost, he asserted. The chief minister was briefed that city’s cleanliness agreement with the foreign company will end next year and the LWMC board has given approval for appointment of a transaction adviser. The Local Government secretary gave a briefing about the new cleanliness model for the city.

Provincial ministers Raja Basharat, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Hashim Jawan Bakht, adviser Dr Salman Shah, secretaries of local government, P&D, finance and law departments, commissioner of Lahore Division and others attended the meeting.

Punjab govt despatches relief goods to Mirpur

On the directions of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, nine trucks carrying relief goods including food hampers and tents arrived in Mirpur on Thursday.

In this regard, Buzdar said in a statement that helping the earthquake hit-people is his responsibility and added that the Punjab government will extend full support in the treatment of injured persons. Injured persons who could not be treated in Mirpur will be shifted to Punjab hospitals for their best treatment, he said. Instructions have been issued to the provincial administration to help the affected people and resources of the Punjab government are available for them. The Punjab government will extend full support for early rehabilitation of the earthquake affected people, he added.

MESSAGE ON WORLD TOURISM DAY

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that a new tourism policy has been formulated and the tourism sector has been given the status of an industry.

In a message on World Tourism Day, he said that betterment of tourist spots was ignored in the past but tourism sector is part of the priorities of the PTI-led government. He said that Pakistan is full of tourist spots and effective measures have been adopted to provide best facilities to the tourists along with improving the tourist spots. “The tourism sector in Pakistan has a wide scope and number of international tourists has increased due to improvement in law and order situation in the country. The positive face of Pakistan will be projected before the world by promoting tourism,” he said.

The Punjab government is working to facilitate tourists and use of government buildings, having historical attraction, has been started. As many as 177 rest houses have been opened for public in Punjab and new tourist spots were being developed in the province that would create new earning opportunities for the local population, he concluded.