HYDERABAD: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has sought suggestions from researchers of higher learning institutions to ensure the availability of safe and clean drinking water in all districts of the province, according to Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Aslam Uqaili.
The vice-chancellor was addressing the inaugural session of a two-day conference on water and power, organised by Distinguished Innovations, Collaborations and Entrepreneurship (DICE) at Mehran University Jamshoro on Tuesday.
He said that Syed Murad Ali Shah – who is also an engineer by education – had taken the step following the Supreme Court’s directives of setting up models for the provision of safe and clean drinking water to the people of Sindh. He said that the chief minister was keen to resolve the issue with assistance, suggestions and recommendations of the academia.
He further said that Mehran University had endeavoured many times to find out ways and means to resolve the issues of water and energy crisis being faced by the country, adding that it was a responsibility of higher learning institutions to create awareness among the masses and to find out solutions to the country’s problems.
He said that it was due to the contribution of Mehran University in water and energy research that a high-level water research institute had been set up in the university under the USAID programme. The standard of the research centre can be gauged from the fact that 22 out of the 35 students of the first batch had succeeded in acquiring jobs in relevant departments even before their results had been announced.
He expressed high hopes that the conference initiated by DICE would yield good results in resolving the issues of water and energy crisis of the country.
Also speaking on the occasion, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) Chief Executive Officer Reham Ali Otho informed the audience that HESCO was responsible for supplying electricity to customers from 13 districts of Lower Sindh and that it was making all-out efforts to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to consumers.
He said that using water and energy according to one’s needs was the only solution to the crisis faced by the country. He appealed to consumers to avoid power theft and pay their electricity bills regularly so as to enable HESCO to continue its operations effectively.
Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company Chief Operating Officer Syed Abul Fazal Rizvi also spoke on the occasion, saying that the Thar Coal Project would start generating electricity by December 2018. He said that 38 graduates of Mehran University were engaged in the project, which was bringing rapid developments in Tharparkar and accounted for over 40 percent jobs of the local Thari youth as well as the construction of an airport at Islam Kot.
DICE Foundation Chairman Khursheed Ahmed Qureshi praised Mehran University for its research work in water and power sectors, adding that organising the DICE Conference 2017 was a momentous task, achieved successfully by the university management.
Mehran University ORIC Director Dr Inamullah Bhatti, who was also the chief organiser of the conference, informed those present that the organisers had received 70 project papers for the DICE Conference 2017. He said that 46 of these had been approved, including 36 in the energy sector and 10 in the water sector. These papers would be presented in the technical session of the conference, he informed.
Researchers and experts from various higher learning institutions as well as industrial companies are taking part in the two-day long conference.