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LAHORE, May 13: Water and power ministry on Monday undertook before the Lahore High Court that steps will be taken to return control of the 132-KV grid station to Lahore Electricity Supply Company which was being controlled by Bahria Town, a private housing society.

Ministry Joint Secretary Zargham Shah gave this assurance to LHC chief justice during hearing of a petition against unannounced loadshedding in Punjab, particularly and exemption (from outages) granted to several private housing societies and VVIP premises.

Judicial Activism Panel’s chairman Azhar Siddique filed the petition.

Earlier, a letter of NTDC was submitted in the court under which the management of Lesco’s 132-KV grid station had been handed over to the Bahria Town.

A deputy attorney general, however, expressed his ignorance about the NTDC letter issued on July 13, 2009.

The joint secretary further told the court that in addition to tariff subsidy of Rs291 billion, the national grid encountered late payment of the fuel price adjustment, presently at Rs79 billion, non-recovery by Discos at Rs36 billion and other losses to the tune of Rs12 billion.

However, he failed to explain why non-recovery and other losses amounting to Rs48 billion, could not be accounted and compensated on that basis for individual Discos by the federal government rather than being treated as a loss suffered by national grid.

The chief justice remarked that both the federal government and its agencies on the one hand and the Discos on the other hand had no energy conservation schemes for implementation by different classes of consumers.

The federal government had failed to facilitate conservatory and corrective action by Discos, the CJ added.

He observed water and power ministry should recommend the government legislation to control extra use of electricity by Discos than the sanctioned volume and the theft as well.

Mr Shah also pointed out that generation of 1400MW electricity had been added to the national grid which was earlier suspended due to gas shortage.

The petitioner alleged Lesco had joined hands with some private housing societies and industrial units and exempted them from loadshedding. He said the theft of electricity increased from 13 to 20 per cent in summer season.

The chief justice adjourned the hearing till May 28 and sought a report from the ministry about corrective action, taken or proposed, to meet the energy shortage from both demand and supply sides to be enumerated.