The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) and National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) to ensure equal distribution of electricity for domestic and commercial consumers.
The apex court also directed PEPCO and NTDC to make sure that the timing of load shedding should be equal without any discrimination among big and small cities across the country.
These directions were issued by a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ijaz Afzal Chaudhry and Justice Gulzar Ahmed that resumed hearing in a suo moto notice regarding prolonged load shedding.
During the course of proceeding, the bench asked the PEPCO managing director, who is also holding additional charge of NTDC MD, to present a detailed report regarding load shedding from May 21 to 28.
Zargham Ishaq Khan, PEPCO MD, presented a detailed chart of the electricity generation, consumption and shortfall during the said period.
He further stated that all companies were issued directions per the orders by the apex court regarding indiscriminate load shedding in all areas of the country.
The chief justice remarked that PEPCO was solely responsible for excessive load shedding inquiring the maximum production of all power plants.
Zargham stated that maximum power production could be up to 17,000MW.
The bench said that on the last hearing, the MD apprised the court that maximum power generation could be 21,000MW to 22,000MW.
Zargham replied that 21,000MW was the production written on machines which were now outdated or could not attain maximum production level.
The CJP said that in the past, there was only one distribution company, WAPDA, and the circumstances were not that bad, while now there were about eight distribution companies and the situation was beyond control.
The PEPCO MD said out of eight companies, three were not functioning well including HUBCO, Narowal and Liberty, due to which the crisis prevail
Later, the court directed the PEPCO MD to hold meetings with all power companies regarding their output and power generation and come out with an authentic reply.
The court adjourned further hearing until June 10.
Earlier, the CJP said no one, including the president, prime minister and chief justice should be apple of WAPDA’s eye and power should be supplied on basis of equality.
“People have gone restless and industries are going to close down owing to unannounced load shedding. No one including the president, prime minister and chief justice should be apple of WAPDA’s eye. Power distribution should be made to all from Khyber to Karachi on the basis of equality. Electricity is available in the country but people are worried over wrong distribution of power. Thirty percent shortfall of the electricity can be met,” the CJ said.
Addressing the PEPCO MD, the CJP remarked, “Who will stop unannounced load shedding? If you are not capable, go home. Some competent officer will come.”