<<Shehbaz orders accelerated rescue, relief operation in rain-affected areas>>
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday inaugurated the Green and Blue Line metro bus services.
The inauguration, which saw several postponements during the last one week, was finally held on Thursday morning at Jillani Stop in Bhara Kahu. After Orange Line from Peshawar Mor to the new airport, now both the Green and Blue Lines have become operational.
CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed gave a briefing to the prime minister about all the three metro bus services.
Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister said the metro bus service would be a gift for the residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and would serve the common man, students and workers. He also directed expansion of both the bus services in coming years.
The Green Line starts from Bhara Kahu and calumniates at Pims stop. The passengers will disembark outside the hospital to catch the Red Line (Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro) for travelling to other parts of the city.
The Blue Line is functional from Koral to Pims. Initially, these two metros are being run as non-stop services until the bus stations on the routes are constructed.
According to the CDA, work on the construction of the bus stations for both the lines is underway and will be completed by August 14. Both the Green and Blue lines are being run in mix traffic on existing roads and in future the CDA will construct designated corridors for them. A feeder bus will be operated from PWD Housing Society to Koral stop while another will run from Athal Chowk in Bhara Kahu to Jillani bus terminal to facilitate the commuters.
Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday directed the authorities concerned to accelerate rescue and relief efforts in the areas affected by heavy rains and floods in different parts of the country, particularly Balochistan.
The prime minister expressed grief over the loss of life and properties caused by the rains and consequent floods. He asked the chief ministers of the provinces to prioritize the provision of assistance to the rain and flood affected people, besides personally supervising the operation.
He also directed the National Disaster Management Authority and provincial disaster management authorities to speed up the emergency measures in coordination with the provincial governments and relevant departments.
He also instructed the relevant departments to accelerate relief and rescue operation in Quetta, Qila Saifullah, Zhob, Pishin, Harnai, Khushnub, Qamaruddin, Muslim Bagh and other affected areas.
He also called for providing immediate relief to the people who had lost their houses due to the heavy rains.
The prime minister also called for a better coordination to carry out relief and rescue operation in Sindh, particularly Karachi and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan besides providing the best medical facilities to the injured and the relocation of the affected people to the safe areas.
He asked the authorities concerned to carry out a survey of the affected areas so that a mechanism could be developed for compensation to the affected people. The prime minister also asked the ministers and the parliamentarians to ensure coordination in the rescue and relief efforts in the affected areas.
Separately, Prime Minister Shehbaz assured the Government of Balochistan of federal government’s all possible support to help overcome the losses caused by the heavy rains in the province.
The prime minister, in a meeting with Chief Minister of Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, said the development of Balochistan was aming his government’s priorities.
During the meeting, they discussed the overall political situation particularly the matters pertaining to Balochistan.
Meanwhile, the government is set to announce a comprehensive National Solar Policy on August 1 to provide cheap and environmental-friendly electricity to the general public.
The decision was taken by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as he chaired a high-level meeting of the Energy Task Force aimed at addressing the problems of energy shortage in the country.
The implementation of the National Solar Policy will be subject to approval by the Council of Common Interests.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Energy Engineer Khurram Dastagir, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Petroleum Minister Mussadik Malik, and the officials concerned. The chief secretaries of four provinces joined the meeting through a video link.
PM Sharif directed the task force to get feedback from the provinces on the draft solar policy and stressed ensuring unanimity of views at the provincial level on the projects of alternative energy generation.
Also, it was decided to shift the Prime Minister’s Office and the PM House to solar energy within one month.
The prime minister said the government was committed to making the country self-reliant in energy generation.
He mentioned that solar power was a clean and green way of electricity generation and said the solar projects would mitigate the issues such as distribution losses, power theft, and circular debt.
PM Sharif said affordable solar power would reduce the burden of inflation on the common man.
The meeting was informed that a proposal for converting the fuel-based powerhouses and the 2,000 feeders of 11 KV to solar generation was on the cards.
Switching the government buildings to solar power generation was also discussed in detail.
It was told that in the next 10 years, solar plants with 1,000 megawatts generation would be installed at the government buildings on a BOOT (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer) basis.
The meeting also discussed the proposals for B2B (business-to-business) and mini solar grids.
It was highlighted that a plan to convert 30,000 tube wells in Balochistan to solar power was under consideration with a cost of Rs 300 billion.
The meeting also discussed the proposal to provide solar plants to individuals with a facility of net-metering.