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LAHORE - The first ever solar-powered irrigation plant became operational in a Khushpur village of Faisalabad on Wednesday.
Ecologically friendly and running at no cost, the project has been supported by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development - Canada Fund for Local Initiatives through the Shahbaz Bhatti Memorial Trust for the people of Khushpur supporting their agriculture.
Located in the Faisalabad District in the Punjab province of Pakistan, Khushpur village comprises of a total area of 2000 acres of agricultural land, of which up until now 45 per cent has been arid and salty due to the lack of water supply, resulting in a community living below subsistence level.
This Solar Irrigation Plant was inaugurated by Canadian delegation led by His Excellency, Mr Greg Giokas, Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan, accompanied by Mr Denis Chouinard, Counsellor Trade and Political, Attiya Hidayat, from the Canadian High Commission, and hosted by Dr Paul Jacob Bhatti, Former Minister of National Harmony and Chairman of Shahbaz Bhatti Memorial Trust (SBMT) All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), Bishop of Faisalabad, Arshad Joseph, Rev, Father Pervaiz Emmanuel, Mr Rana Farooq, Former Minister of Industries, as well as Trustees of SBMT, Lesley-Anne Leighton, Naveed Jeeva, Mr Akmal Bhatti, Vice President APMA, Mrs Najmi Saleem, zonal co-coordinator (APMA) and members of the Chief Executive Committee of APMA, human, social activists from Faisalabad surrounding villages and the people of Khushpur.  The project would bring significant changes in the lives of the people of Khushpur, empowering them through providing a sustainable income with the production of crops and dairy, on land that was once arid and now will become fertile.