Sharif’s resolve to end darkness
Courtesy:- S Rahman
If the performance evaluation of Nawaz Sharif government is intended, it should be done on the basis of two key yardsticks that of terrorism control and power crisis management though other issues are no less compelling.
This criterion is being applied in the light of people’s genuine needs and simple aspirations. They (people’s needs and aspirations) are peaceful living and good living conditions free from painful, lengthy power outages and the concomitant economic instability.
To the people’s good luck, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has started working perseveringly on these priorities ever since coming into power following the last May general elections.
Taking up the power sector for the time being in this discussion, the good news for the public is that the government is concentrating on implementation and sustainability of the announced projects, specifically the power production projects.
On the one hand, the projects of public relief are being finalized and launched in rapid succession whereas, on the other, the government is giving full attention to reducing the gap between the launch of a project and its productive stages.
That’s a marked improvement in the area of governance in the country. This has been a rarity in the past, when most often, the governments would announce big projects not to be followed by practical steps, even of preliminary nature.
The people have seen the snail’s pace — and even abandonment — of many projects of national import in the past. But the practice of Nawaz-led Pakistan Muslim League government has always been different, both in the Centre and in Punjab. People still remember as to how a gigantic project like Motorway was initiated by Mian Nawaz Sharif’s former government and how much benefits have accrued out of it to the nation during all these areas.
The same spirit of practical, well planned work is now being applied by the Sharif government to the prevailing conditions especially the energy crisis situation that has assumed alarming proportions.
Combined with this spirit, the Sharif government has also evolved work plans keeping in view the mistakes of former governments and in the backdrop of lukewarm foreign collaboration of the previous days. Now, work plans are made pragmatically and after thorough study of all the pros and cons with a forward looking approach so that the launched projects not only get started without unnecessary delay but also become sustainable. The latter aspect i.e. non-sustainability has been an anathema to our progress but it was never taken as a priority during the incumbency of former governments.
The Sharif government has, however, adopted a multi-pronged strategy to do away with all such impediments and snags and put the development works on a fast, sustainable track. The prime minister’s views on Gwadar are well known to the people as he appears fully determined to convert Pakistan into a strong, durable economic corridor through a huge infrastructure and connectivity system emanating from a world-class deep sea port i.e Gwadar.
And people are also aware of the prime minister’s resolve to rid them of darkness. The other day, he has vociferously declared that the people would soon see the end to this darkness. The prime minister’s focus on energy projects both with the indigenous resources and expertise and with the wholehearted cooperation of foreign companies and governments is a case in point. While all the foreign sources are kept in consideration, the biggest cooperation is coming from our time-tested friend China that also acknowledges the sincerity and seriousness of purpose of Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif.
China is coming in a big way and Pakistan’s experience with Chinese collaboration in various ventures has been remarkable. And, while the sincere cooperation of Chinese friends is a manifestation of their own immense goodwill and good wishes for the Pakistani nation, it is simultaneously an expression of confidence in the transparent development works initiated by Nawaz Sharif government.
The number of these projects is rising day by day. Already, work has begun on a good number of energy generating projects of varied nature aimed at ‘energy mix’ that stands for generating power from different sources so that the end product available to the people is comparatively affordable. In this area, the government has, without the slightest delay, started work on energy production through coal, wind power, solar energy, nuclear energy, hydel power and thermal sources. No stone has been left unturned in putting the work on a fast track, the results of which the nation will start reaping within months albeit with a modest start (to be followed by large scale production of electricity in thousands of megawatts). The first phase of Nandipur project will start giving production from the next month. The coal projects are also being pursued vigorously in different areas of the country alongside solar energy generation units.
The other day Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the 404MW Uch Power Project-II in Dera Murad Jamali, Balochistan although problems of lack of adequate infrastructure for sustainable utilization of additional capacity of the complex had been previously reported. The project will be pursued with full speed and infrastructure development will also be taken care of in line with the top priorities of the incumbent government.
It may be recalled that just a few days prior to the inauguration of Uch power plant, Guddu power project, with 486MW Combined cycle Power Plant was also inaugurated by the prime minister. The Guddu power project was inaugurated seven months ahead of its scheduled completion. It is expected to add between 1600 to 2000 megawatts to the national grid, that means substantial decrease in the menace of loadshedding and thus substantial decrease in the sufferings and problems of the people of Pakistan.