20000 illegal tube wells operating in Balochistan: QESCO Chief

Staff Reporter: 

QUETTA: In a strategic effort to tackle the energy crisis in Balochistan, senior officials from the federal government, Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO), and the provincial government met for a high-level discussion on transitioning agricultural tubewells to solar energy. The meeting, mandated by Prime Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, aimed at addressing the challenges obstructing this crucial transition.

Key participants included Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti, Federal Minister of State for Energy Ali Pervez Malik, Secretary Power Division Rashid Mehmood, along with representatives from federal and provincial agencies and QESCO officials.

During the session, federal and provincial authorities delivered comprehensive briefings on the difficulties in converting agricultural electric tubewells to solar power. A major concern for the federal government is the potential dual usage of solar and electric systems by farmers, which could compromise the efficiency of the solar transition.

Chief Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti recognized these concerns and emphasized the necessity of resolving them through mutual understanding. He highlighted the federal government’s apprehension that farmers might continue using the QESCO power system after solarization, thereby undermining the benefits of switching to solar energy.

Federal officials stressed the need for a solid mechanism to ensure landowners do not use QESCO power once their tubewells are converted to solar. Minister of State Ali Pervez Malik and Secretary Power Division Rashid Mehmood urged the provincial government and farmers to formulate a detailed plan to address these issues before moving forward with the solar transition.

The Balochistan government requested additional time to develop a comprehensive solution. Chief Minister Bugti assured that a viable resolution would be achieved through consultations with landowners and stakeholders, expressing his gratitude to Prime Minister Sharif for initiating the discussion.

Bugti reaffirmed his dedication to addressing the federal government’s concerns through collaborative efforts. Federal representatives welcomed his proposals, agreeing that all facets of the solar energy transition would be resolved through joint consultations.

This pivotal meeting represents a significant step towards a sustainable energy future for Balochistan’s agricultural sector, highlighting the cooperative efforts of federal and provincial authorities to ensure a smooth and effective transition to solar power.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.