CM vows to provide solar tube-wells to small growers

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the water shortages had affected agriculture sectors in the province; therefore, his government had embarked upon a plan to provide solar energy tube-wells to small growers.

“This would help improve and strengthen agro economy,” he said while presiding over a joint meeting of Irrigation and Agriculture Departments here at the CM House today. The meeting was attended by P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Irrigation Jamal Shah, Secretary Agriculture Sajid Jamal Abro and others.

The Sindh government has launched 11 schemes for installation of solar energy tube-wells and pumping stations through three different departments worth Rs7.8 billion against which Rs2630.505 million had been utilized upto June 2017. The government has allocated Rs2623.858 million for the new financial year.

The solar schemes of agriculture department include Rs100 million establishment of solar Dehyderation Plant on PPP mode in Khairpur, Rs802 million provision of solar water pumps/tube-wells on subsidized rates to farmers all over Sindh.

The chief minister said: “It is an important scheme which costs Rs1000 million in which Sindh government share comes to Rs802 million while the farmers would share Rs198 million.” Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem said that during 2016-17, the government had allocated Rs238.142 million and the entire amount was utilized and the remaining amount of Rs563.858 million had been allocated for the current financial year. The chief minister proposed that the amount may be given for solar pumps through banks. “This would make the project more transparent,” he said. On this secretary agriculture Sajid Jamal Abro said that he would make a proposal for the chief minister.

Secretary irrigation Syed Jamal Shah told the chief minister that they had launched a number schemes which include Rs2087.110 million Boring & Installation of 250 tube-wells of two cusecs on solar energy. On this the chief minister said that the two cusecs tube-wells would irrigate around 15000 to 2000 acres. “The purpose of the schemes is to support small growers; therefore, small tube-wells schemes may be worked out so that government can support more and more farmers,” he said.

It may be noted that on this schemes of Rs2087.110 million Rs859.110 million have been utilized while this year Rs200 million have been allocated for the purpose.

Secretary Irrigation said that A Rs1047.5 million drainage system and installation of solar tube wells at Cantonment Area Pano Aqil is yet to be started. During last financial year Rs522.763 million were allocated while this year Rs250 million have been earmarked. On this the chief minister said that the schemes on solar system may be executed by one agency. Therefore this task may be given to agriculture department or to the irrigation department. He authorized Chairman P&D Mr Waseem to hold a meeting with both the departments to work out a plan to execute the solar schemes by one department only.

The chief minister was also told that Rs211.984 million schemes of installation of solar tube wells had been launched against which Rs50 million had been utilized while this year another Rs50 million had been allocated.

He added that a scheme of installation of solar tube-wells at Umerkot have been approved fon which work is yet to be started. The chief minister was also told that a Rs225.023 million schemes of conversion of energy source of the pumping station of Patni and Umerkash Wah Sukkur on Solar energy for ensuring water supplies in tail reach of Patni System and construction of a 500 feet bridge from katcha bund is in progress and so far Rs96.845 million have been utilized while the allocation of current financial year is Rs60 million.  Another scheme of Rs199.820 million scheme to provide and install solar energy system at 132 mile of Dadu Canal tail pumping station- Jamshoro is also in progress.

The expenditures incurred on the project comes to Rs25 million while the government has allocated Rs 60 million for the current financial year. The scheme of installation of solar system on barrages & regional offices all over Sindh has been launched for Rs196.941 million and so far Rs25 million had been utilisied.

Chairman P&D Waseem told the chief minister that there was one scheme of Public Health Engineering Department of Rs 2 billion for electrification of off-grid areas through solar technology, schools and villages and so far the government had spent Rs775 million, while this year Rs850 million had been allocated.

The chief minister directed the chairman P&D to convene a joint meeting of irrigation and agriculture departments and works out modalities to give subsidized solar energy tube-wells to growers and also suggest the task of solarisation work to one department to avoid duplication.

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