Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali said on Wednesday that there would be no electricity load shedding during Sehr and Iftaar in Ramzan while load management of six hours in urban centre and eight hours in rural areas would be observed strictly.
In a media briefing here at LESCO Head office, the minister said that during upcoming Ramzan-ul-Mubarik, industrial sector’s load shedding would remain between eight to 10 hours.
Last year, the total daily power generation recorded at 16,900 MW in the country, which would be increased up to 18000 mega watts, he said, adding that the government would manage to control load shedding up to 50 percent, while another 8000 to 10000 MW of electricity quantum would be added into the system, which would help end load shedding completely.
To a question, the Minister of State said that DISCOs (power distribution companies) had been directed to disconnect the power supply of consumers defaulting in payment of dues for more than 45 days without taking any sort of pressure from any side.
He mentioned that recently, on the basis of non-payment of dues, the power supply had been disconnected to an MNA, Wing Commander, Commissioner (Revenue), lawyers of various courts including Supreme, High and district and sessions courts.
To another question, he said that there had been over-billing of Rs 3.25 billion for which an inquiry had been ordered to fix the responsibility and elements involved would be taken to the NAB (National Accountability Bureau).
Abid Sher Ali added that LESCO had arranged 1000 transformers and another 3500 trolley-transformers to cope with any emergency during holy month of Ramadan, while measures were also being put in place to ensure uninterrupted power supply to five sensitive places in the LESCO domain.
“We are striving hard to mitigate load shedding up to 90 percent during Sehr and Iftaar,” he maintained.
The minister urged the traders’ community to close down their businesses till 9pm and other consumers should also switch off air-conditioners during Sehr and Iftaar times.
Power load management of six hours in urban centre and eight hours in rural areas would be observed strictly, he said and asserted that load-shedding duration in high loss-making feeders/areas would be according to losses ratio.
To a query, Abid Sher Ali said that power system was being upgraded accordingly, as NTDCL (National Transmission and Dispatch Company Limited) was working efficiently in this regard.
He elaborated that 800MW each from under-construction power plants at Bhikkhi and Haveli Bahadur Shah would come in the system before 2017, and half of the generation capacity of Tarbela Fourth Extension Project would be added into the system by May 2017.
Responding to a Reporter’s query, he said that Kissan Ittahad had struck an agreement with Ministry of Water and Power for payment of current bills and installments of outstanding bills but the Kissan Ittehad did not follow the said agreement even by one percent.
In this regard, he warned, the respective authorities would take action including disconnection of power supply next month.
The government, he said, was taking all possible steps for generation of inexpensive electricity, adding, “The coal power plant that takes 40 months for completion, we are installing it in 28 months. We are making every effort to give an end to power load-shedding by 2018 as promised by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.”
To a question, he said that Okara, Depalpur, Kasur and Kanganpur had become no-go areas as the defaulters torched the DISCO’s officials, who went there to disconnect their supplies. A letter had been issued to all the DISCOs and the issue would also be taken up with the Punjab IGP.
He said that work on mobile reading had been completed by 100 percent and 50 percent in FESCO (Faisalabad) and LESCO (Lahore) respectively.
LESCO Chief Executive Office Qaisar Zaman and other high-ups were also present.