LAHORE: Reiterating the usual promise of no outages during Sehr and Iftar times, the minister of state for water and power said on Monday that loadshedding of up to 20 hours was being carried out in areas where over 90 per cent line losses were recorded.
On the other hand, Abid Sher Ali said, only six-hour loadshedding was carried out in areas where people paid their bills regularly.
Addressing a press conference at the headquarters of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco), he warned that supply would be completely switched off to areas where residents did not pay bills. He said power sector could not be run unless consumers cleared their bills.
He said the Sindh government owed around Rs72 billion in power dues. Out of the amount, Rs21bn had been reconciled because the provincial government had raised objections to the dues. The payment of the remaining Rs51bn is awaited as the provincial government has promised to clear the dues by the end of June.
The ministry would be compelled to take appropriate action if the payment was delayed, Mr Ali cautioned.
The AJK government owed Rs48bn and the Balochistan government Rs142bn, he said. “The ministry is in touch with the chief executives of Balochistan and AJK and has almost sorted out the matter.
The minister expressed the hope that the dues would be paid and consequently power generation would increase.
“The situation has already improved to considerable extent as compared to previous years,” he claimed. “The government has increased power generation, installed new transmission lines, built grid stations and enhanced the capacity of the existing ones.”
He said the ministry was hoping to add 1,600MW to the national grid within a year. Guddu powerhouse will add 742MW and Nandipur plant, which is currently producing less than 200MW, will start working to its full capacity and generate 425MW by the end of June. Wind power plants are producing 150MW and improvements in the system have led to an increase of 250 to 300MW in generation.
Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2015