KARACHI     -    With Pakistan fast emerging as a major user of solar energy, President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday stressed the need to focus on bringing down the cost of the safest source of energy by producing solar panels in the country.

Addressing here the launching ceremony of Hilton Pharma’s CSR initiative Solar Energy Project to electrify 10,000 households across the country, he said Pakistan that had emerged the fifth largest market for solar energy, needed to make optimum use of the safest source available in abundance (in form of sun light).

Expressing gratitude to Allah Almighty that the country was equally blessed with other natural resources that too could be diversified for the well-being of the masses, the President particularly referred to water resources and coal deposits. “Importance of dams for water storage remains relevant but these can no more be justified for energy production other than small run of the river units to generate power at community level,” he said. Of the coal deposits in the country being used for power generation, President Alvi said even if the pollutant factors were removed yet its carbon foot prints persisted.

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 efforts.

“Efforts are needed to raise consciousness among children and youth about environment friendly approach towards life - its style and their surroundings,” he said, reiterating that sensitized youth had brought about positive changes in their respective societies.   

Appreciative of the contribution of the country’s major pharmaceutical company for taking the initiative towards electrification of houses in remote and least privileged areas, he said as solar energy was the cleanest source and such conscious efforts were required to address carbon foot print.

President Alvi said the realization existed in the country 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 added.

Referring to consumerism that has engulfed the world at large, he said Pakistan too had emerged as a consumer society and there was growing realization to change the situation.

President Alvi on the occasion also referred to the strong culture of philanthropy in Pakistan and maintained that Pakistanis largely being sensitive souls tried to fill the gaps in the lives of have nots.

“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 etc,” he said.  

     He emphasized the need to promote the culture on strong lines as it helped develop society while the state took upon the responsibility to bring on equal footing the have and have nots through an efficient taxation system and stabilization of the

economy.

     “The harsh reality of the present day world is that the gap between the highest income group and the lowest ones registered to be 1:43 a few years ago has presently turned into 1:200 or even more,” said President Alvi highlighting relevance of the dream to turn the country in accordance with the concept of “Madina State”.

     Huzaifa Poonawala, representing Hilton Pharmacy in his elaborate presentation, mentioned that 25 percent of Pakistanis (around 51 million people) had no access to electricity.

     “We have tried to address this through a strategic partnership with G-Solar providing facility of two LED lights, a fan and charging of one mobile to each of the household,” he said.

     According to Poonawala, a pilot project had been successfully completed in the villages of Gharo and Baba Bhitshah Island and the schemes would now be expanded to 10,000 households scattered across the country.

     Under the pilot scheme 250 houses were said to be provided with electrification creating an enabling environment for all members of the household.

     Earlier Sardar Yasin Malik, pioneer of the company in his welcome address, referred to series of philanthropic and public welfare activities undertaken by his group including public toilets for both men and women in Karachi, professional

development projects at major universities of the country, training for teachers attending regular as well as special children etc.