Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday said that he is proud to inaugurate a project that his mother Benazir Bhutto had laid foundation for.
Speaking to a ceremony after inaugurating the Thar coal power plant, the PPP chairman said that it was his mother who had first introduced the concept of public-private partnership in her 1993 manifesto.
"I am happy that the fruit of your blood sweat and tears is being added to the national grid," he said while also announcing that the Sindh government will provide free electricity to the residents of Islamkot and the general Thar area once the project starts running.
"This is the least we can do to help the poor people of Thar," he said.
Bilawal also pledged the creation of a campus of NED University of Engineering and Technology in Thar. "The engineering disciplines that will be taught in the university will benefit the dwellers of Thar greatly," he said.
"I visited the housing society that has been created to rehabilitate the people who were affected by the coal power project. I have to say, there have been many projects created all over the country but I have not seen the people affected by those projects rehabilitated in such a manner."
Bilawal earlier announced on Twitter that he had inaugurated the power plant, describing it as the "highest man-made structure in Pakistan".
The power plant has the capacity to generate 660 megawatts (MW) of electricity. It consists of two power generation units of 330MW each.
The project was completed under a public-private partnership in 10 years’ time. It is part of a portfolio of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.
The Sindh government has provided a sovereign guarantee of $700 million for the project.
Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had welcomed Bilawal at the Thar Coal Field Block-II, after which the two had inspected newly-built houses for people who were affected by the coal power plant.