Made enormous progress in eliminating power shortage, extremism: PM

SAHIWAL: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the incumbent government has made enormous progress on the three major problems it inherited in 2013—power shortage, terrorism and economic issues.

“Our efforts are bearing fruits…we have made enormous progress on all three fronts,” he said while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Sahiwal Coal Power Project.

The prime minister praised the Chinese officials and engineers for working alongside his Pakistani counterparts on the project and completing it in “record” time of 22 months.

Earlier the prime minister inaugurated the first 660 megawatt (MW) unit of the Sahiwal Coal Power Project on Thursday.

The 1320MW capacity plant — said to be part of the early projects of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor — was completed in 22 months.

The premier — accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Governor Rafique Rajhwana and State Power Minister Abid Sher Ali — was also given a tour of the plant, which has been developed by a Chinese company.

The delegation, which also included Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique and Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong, was also given a briefing by Chinese and Pakistani engineers on the operations of the plant.

Earlier, during a meeting with a Chinese delegation of Huaneng Group in Lahore on Wednesday, the Punjab chief minister felicitated the Chinese workers on completion of the project six months ahead of time.

The Chinese delegation told the chief minister that the second 660MW unit of the Sahiwal Coal Power Plant will also start generating power shortly.

Taking a jibe at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Shehbaz had said the plant would have been completed even earlier along with other related projects had it not been for the dharna (sit-in).