Shahbaz Sharif Ujala Program has been inaugurated by the Chief Minister himself in Bahawalpur on January 29, 2012. In a lavishing opening ceremony where a number of students from different schools, colleges and technical institutes, Chief Minister initiated the Shahbaz Sharif Ujala Program. The initiative focuses on distributing solar based electrical systems for houses. These solar electrical solutions were given to outstanding students on merit basis.
Though it is a well thought out scheme for rallying more people in their vote banks, PML(N) and Shahbaz Sharif actually seems to have done more harm than good. Starting with Bahawalpur, a far flung area was a good initiative but the people there are more lacking in knowledge in regards to solar system installation. There may be some electricians who may have experience in installing such systems but not enough to cater for the needs of people all around the city. CM forgot to educate the people after giving them such a solution which is a failure in terms planning and execution. Not to mention the possibility that most of the people will just sell their systems as was done with the laptops.
There are no details given on the specifications of the solar panel, but as the pictures show, it seems like a 30 W solar panel, amounting for approximately Rs. 4,000 according to the most recent market rates. Along with the 10A solar charge controller a 30Ah battery is capable of lighting up an energy saver and a fan for a maximum time of 1 hour or so. It means that the student will not be able to plug in the laptop he got from Shahbaz Sharif into the solar electrical system!
Instead of utilizing the resources from a Chinese company (ZTE in this case), CM should have awarded the project to a local company. This would have increased the productivity of local brands, saved the foreign exchange and money would have stayed in the country.