The University of Karachi Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi and the University of Karachi (Alumni Association Washington DC, Baltimore Chapter) Board of Trustees Chairman, on Thursday jointly inaugurated the solar power project at the Department of Applied Chemistry, KU.
The solar power system was successfully installed by the UKAA Washington DC Baltimore and the alma mater has also shown interest to further extend cooperation with the University.
KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi said traditional power supply was very costly and its per-unit price was increasing day by day, besides the fact that we were still facing a shortfall in the electricity supply. According to him, keeping such a scenario in mind, shifting from a conservative source of energy to solar power system was a really good idea. He believes that KU would get benefits by shifting to the solar power system.
“Usually, we inaugurate project and put a plaque on the sites, but in this case, the project was already installed and was running on a pilot basis, before it was inaugurated today.” He said KU regularly pay around Rs30 million every month in lieu of electricity bills.
On this occasion, Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi announced to constitute a committee and said he would head the committee responsible to initiate the project of converting all departments of the varsity on the solar power system in coming years. This committee would start working from next week, he added.
KU would be saving a good amount of money if all department were shifted to the solar power system and that amount could be used to provide more facilities and scholarships to students. “We have to take decisions which have a direct impact on students and faculty members as they are the main stakeholders of the University.” He observed that intact faculty helps in the flourishing department and academic development,” Iraqi added.
Meanwhile, UKAA Washington DC Baltimore Chairman Tariq Hassan said Alma mater provides scholarships to needy students of Karachi University and its affiliated colleges as well as it funds various sustainable development projects at Karachi University. He shared this year 500 students were awarded the scholarship by the UKAA Washington DC Baltimore Chapter, which would like to convert at least two departments every year to the solar power system.
Tariq Hassan has over four decades of experience in policy advisory and sustainable development and has worked for several development organizations throughout the world including the World Bank and United Nations along with others.
He asked the Karachi University to apply for funds and bring further improvements at the campus. “Through a grant from UKAA Washington DC USA, a solar system was installed at the department of applied chemistry and chemical technology. A total of 29 panels are providing 9KW to two blocks of the department, 4500W to classroom block and 4500W to laboratory block.”
Dr Riaz Ahmed said we had shifted classroom and lab blocks to solar energy allowing corridors, computer lab, and eight lab fans and tube lights per lab to function on solar. The 29 panels along with two batteries allow for extra two hours in the evening for classrooms only.
He mentioned that in addition to the project, the UKAA Washington DC Baltimore provided a grant for fire safety through which fire extinguishers, signs and first aid material were installed in eight laboratories and three corridors of applied chemistry and chemical technology.