ADB willing to extend coop to Punjab govt

Salim AhmedSalim Ahmed
Lahore
A delegation of Asian Development Bank, led by Vice President Mr. Wencai Zhang, called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, here on Wednesday and reviewed  the progress on various projects initiated in collaboration with the ADB in Punjab.  The meeting agreed to further enhance cooperation in different sectors including energy, skill development, urban transport, infrastructure, small hydel dams, irrigation, agriculture and education. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that Asian Development Bank is an important partner of the Punjab government and work is in progress for the betterment of different sectors in collaboration with the ADB. He said that Punjab government has launched a major initiative of lightening southern Punjab schools through solar energy and thousands of schools would light up through solar energy this year.  The ADB’s cooperation in Ujala Programme is valuable and the bank can provide further assistance keeping in view the utility of this project. He said that energy projects have been completed in a record period of time under CPEC in the Punjab. The mega 1320-megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Plant under the CPEC has been made operationalize in a record period of 22 months; while 300-megawatt electricity is being produced in Bahawalpur through solar power. He said that government is speedily completing energy projects worth 3600-megawatt with its own resources.  The federal and Punjab governments have provided resources for these projects and supply of energy has been ensured from every possible source to overcome load-shedding. He said that ADB can help to meet this challenge by extending cooperation to the government in energy sector. The Chief Minister further said that metro projects have been completed by the government to provide latest and high-quality transport facilities to the people. A large number of people are benefiting from the metro buses plying in Lahore, Multan and in Rawalpindi-Islamabad.  He said that a plan has been chalked-out to further extend the scope of metro bus service to other major cities and the bank can extend its cooperation to the Punjab government in this regard.

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