LAHORE, Dec 18: The Lahore Electric Supply Company is making all-out efforts to recover its dues but non-payment of billions of rupees by public and private sector is making it difficult for it.

This was stated by Lesco Chief Executive Officer Muhammad Saleem here at a news conference on Tuesday.

He said the federal government owed Rs5.3 billion, the Punjab government Rs6.15 billion and the private sector Rs26.26 billion to Lesco. In addition to this, the federal government had not as yet given Rs2.29 billion to it under the subsidy head.

He said Lesco was making all efforts to recover the dues but was facing litigation for the recovery of Rs5.45 billion.

Giving a break-up of the dues, he said Wasa owed Rs1.48 billion, Pakistan Railways Rs43 million, local government Rs3.51 billion, other Punjab government departments Rs842 million and autonomous bodies Rs1.80 billion.

He said Lesco was earning an annual Rs1.51 billion and its recovery rate was 103 per cent.

Replying to questions, he said the peak hour power demand of Lahore was 2,400MW and it was facing a 21 per cent shortage. That was why there was 700MW loadshedding these days.

However, he said, as per direction from the water and power division, domestic consumers were the top priority of all distributing companies. Right now, the domestic consumers were facing three-hour daily loadshedding which was much more for the commercial and industrial consumers.

He said special squads for preventing power theft and rapid response centres for the redressal of consumer complaints had been established.

During the first five months of the current fiscal year, Lesco had detected 80.9 million-unit theft, sending over Rs910 million detection bills to the power thieves. The campaign would continue unhindered.

Around 25,000 new connections were given. However, the under-construction Metro Bus Service’s pathway was hampering power supply to consumers. Shifting of pylons was forcing several hours suspension of the power supply, he said.

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