KARACHI - The Sindh government has planned to install 250 tube wells on solar energy to ensure water supply from Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) of Badin to Thar coalfield, officials told The Nation.On the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari, the Sindh Irrigation Development Authority has floated a scheme to run 250 tube wells on solar energy with estimated cost of about Rs2 billion. The SIDA, which will be the executing agency of the project, has submitted the scheme to the Irrigation Department of Sindh government which after getting approval from other concerned forums will forward it to the Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah for final approval.According to the project summary available with The Nation, the project has been devised on President Asif Ali Zardari’s directives to ensure supply of 100 cusecs water for the Thar coalfield from RD-362 of LBOD through boring and installing 250 tube wells on solar energy.While explaining the justification of the project, officials said that due to prevailing high fuel cost, water shortage and power crisis, the solar energy was the only economical solution to augment for the proposed solar powered tube wells. In the total estimated cost of Rs1.971 billion of the project, the various component of scheme which include boring and installation of solar tube wells with Rs1.556 billion, construction of pumping house with Rs124.53 million, construction/survey and designing with Rs19.4 million, and acquisition of land and other maintenance and operations expenditures part of proposal. Citing the benefits of the project, the SIDA in its proposal said that solar powered tube wells will ensure supply of water for Thar coalfield, beside it is economical, efficient, low cost technology and easily available as well as it has not negative impact on environment.The government of Sindh in its briefings has been unveiling that infrastructure network for Thar coalfields including water supply for power pants, laying of transmission lines, rail link, roads and other projects required a huge sum of about $1.5 billion dollars, without completing these projects, the electricity from the coal of Thar was not beneficial to supply the other areas. The government was also working on other sources of water provision through Mukhi Frush Canal to Thar coalfield with estimated cost of Rs27 billion. However, the President Asif Ali Zardari directed to Sindh government to look into other options including treatment of brackish water of LBOD to provide through tube wells to coalfield.