ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee for Water and Power has decided to take strict action against the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) over unannounced loadshedding.
The committee has also decided to register a written complaint against Water and Power Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar over his absence from the committee’s sessions, DawnNews reported.
A meeting of the committee was held here today presided by the committee chairman Zahid Khan. Construction of dams, funds and other interposing difficulties were reviewed at the meeting.
Zahid Khan said that it is impossible to improve the conditions of Wapda. The department has too many problems and not enough funds to solve them all, he said. Therefore, Wapda is unable to improve its conditions, he added.
The committee also decided to write a letter to the chairman of the Senate, expressing its anger at the non-participation of the minister for water and power. Zahid Khan said that the chairman Senate should speak to prime minister as the minister does not attend any of the committee meetings.
While briefing the meeting, CEO Neelum Jhelum Power Project, Lt. Gen. Zubair Ahmad said that the project was delayed for two years due to the earthquake. Therefore, it would be completed by 2016. He said that the project would yield 969MW of electricity and added that a 24 kilometre-long tunnel has been dug.
Zubair Ahmed said that the project has cost Rs.274bn in total and the project is 38 per cent complete. Moreover, he told the committee that the cost of the project has increased by Rs.90bn and that Rs.45bn was obtained from the government and Rs.45bn from donors.
The Chinese Exim bank will soon award a loan of $448m soon, said Zubair Ahmed. However, he added that the $100m pledged by Abu Dhabi was not likely to be awarded to the project anymore.
Chairman Wapda Shakeel Durrani informed the committee that it is imperative to get foreign manufactured machinery as the project is already receiving funds from foreign donors. He further said that if the Chinese bank provides them with funds, then they would be compelled to buy machinery from them.
Chairman Wapda also said that the Kurram-Tangi dam will start producing electricity from 2013. This particular project will yield 17MW of electricity and provide North Waziristan with 16,000 acres of arable land. He added that Bhasha Dam is the government’s priority right now and Dasu Dam cannot be given preference over the former at present.