KARACHI: President Dr Arif Alvi stressed on Saturday the need to focus on bringing down the cost of the safest source of energy by producing solar panels in the country, which was fast emerging as a major user of solar energy.
Addressing here the launch of Hilton Pharma’s CSR initiative Solar Energy Project to electrify 10,000 households across the country, he said Pakistan, which had emerged as the fifth largest market for solar energy, needed to make an optimum use of the safest source available in abundance in the form of sunlight.
“Pakistan is [the] sixth most populous country of the world, but unfortunately 25 per cent of our population is still deprived of basic facility of electricity,” he said while speaking at the ceremony. “Since we have increasingly consumerist society, the solar panel manufacturing should start in Pakistan to provide electricity to the remotest areas. Solar energy will also reduce imminent threat of global warming.”
Regretting that, due to unavoidable circumstances, consumerism-oriented environmental risks also existed in the country, he said interventions were needed, including active involvement of children and youth in tree plantation and protection.
The solar power project ‘Roshni Se Zindagi’, which has already launched the initiative in two rural areas of Sindh — Baba Bhit Island and Gharo — will be providing solar-generated electricity to around 10,000 families throughout Pakistan during the next three years.
Appreciating the contribution of the country’s corporate sector for taking the initiative of electrification of homes in remote and least privileged areas, President Alvi said that solar energy was the cleanest source and such conscious efforts were required to address carbon footprint.
“The realisation exists in the country’s leadership as Prime Minister Imran Khan started his address to the members of United Nations General Assembly last night with enumerating major threats to the world, global warming being on top of the list followed by money laundering, Islamophobia, Kashmir and so forth. The prime minister discussed measures for addressing the above issues and the risks if the same were ignored by the world,” he said.
President Alvi on the occasion also referred to the deep-rooted culture of philanthropy in Pakistan and maintained that Pakistanis largely being sensitive souls tried to fill the gaps in the lives of the least privileged people.
“Pakistan has strong concept of philanthropy and the great gap created due to absence of prompt response on part of the state has been filled by people like Edhi and Saylani Trust. We need to promote the culture on strong lines as it helps develop society while the state takes upon the responsibility to bring on equal footing the haves and have-nots through efficient taxation,” he added.
Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2019