LAHORE: The project of the provision of a 3 kW hybrid solar system to healthcare institutions of tribal areas of district Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur has failed due to the incompetence of the healthcare department, Pakistan Today learnt reliably.
According to reliable sources, the project titled ‘The Tribal Area Development Project (TADP) Provision of 3 KW Hybrid Solar System to Healthcare Institutions’ was started with an aim to install the solar panel systems in healthcare institutions, livestock department and Border Military Police (BMP) check posts of the tribal areas of DG Khan and Rajanpur.
According to the plan, 13 Solar Panels of 3000 Watts had to be installed for healthcare institutions including 10 panels in DG Khan and three in Rajanpur, 63 of 100 Watts for BMP check posts including 49 in DG Khan and 14 in Rajanpur and 13 panels of 3000 Watts for livestock department including 10 in DG Khan and three in Rajanpur were in the plan.
Sources further said that the project management unit of TDAP was the executing agency of the project; however, all the solar panel systems were installed in 2016 whereas, at some locations, the base of solar plants was not properly provided. Similarly, due to the negligence of the concerned department, the placement of solar panels was also improper and at the majority of centers, the solar plants failed due to high wind speed.
Sources further told that the project was initially approved at cost of Rs3, 381 million on July 7, 2009, but after that, it was revised three times by the Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP). The project comprised mainly of three principal components which were physical infrastructure, community development and social infrastructure development, institutional support and consultancies.
The directorate general monitoring and evaluation has recently issued a monitoring report on the same project which states, “The installation of solar panel project was started on July 10, 2014, and completed on January 15, 2016. All twenty-six panels were purchased and installed at the particular sites. It was observed that initially, the project was very good. TADP installed solar panels and trained the users but operation and maintenance were at the end of the health department. After a few months nobody was there to look after the plates and batteries of solar panel and at the end batteries along with solar plants were damaged”.
The report further states, “In Fort Munro, healthcare centre the base of solar plants were broken and panels were stolen. These solar plants were installed around four years ago and at that time TADP had trained the positioned staff but after their departure, new staff members were not trained accordingly to operate a solar system”.
“Another major reason for the failure of this scheme was that the healthcare department did not release the funds for maintenance/purchase of batteries. Therefore, the scheme was failed due to improper operation and maintenance,” it reveals.
“Theft in the area is becoming the new burning issue as from different healthcare sectors solar plats were stolen by local community people and due to BMP law in force system, it is not possible to arrest the culprits especially in Rajanpur and Fort Munro areas. Exhausted law enforcement agencies and their control over the culprits involved in the theft. Also, government and law and force department should provide a secure and safe environment to the working team to successfully operate and maintain the project and also recover the theft amount and machinery from culprits”, the report concluded.