KARACHI: Former president and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to use his ‘good offices’ to overcome the power crisis in Sindh, saying the loadshedding of up to 20 hours a day in the punishing heatwave has made life miserable in the province.
According to a statement issued by the Sindh information department, the former president sent a letter to the prime minister on Monday, asking him to take notice of the electricity crisis in Sindh.
Mr Zardari said most of Sindh areas were facing up to 20 hours of daily loadshedding.
Referring to his meeting with the prime minister on May 13, Mr Zardari said they had discussed the issue of power crisis in Sindh and subsequent to that meeting the Sindh minister for finance and energy called on the federal minister for water and power for a follow-up discussion on the issue.
Mr Zardari pointed out that the Sindh government had paid Rs2.4 billion of its electricity dues. He said the water and power minister had to resolve the payment issues of small power plants in Naudero and Dadu, tariff issue of wind and small hydro plants and reduce the duration of loadshedding in the province.
The PPP leader said the Sindh finance minister had informed him that there had been no progress on the part of federal government towards the resolution of these issues.
According to the statement, Mr Zardari also mentioned a letter that had been sent by the senior minister of Sindh to the federal minister on June 5, requesting the centre to resolve the issue of power crisis.
Mr Zardari’s letter referred to a communication between Murad Ali Shah and Khawaja Mohammad Asif in which it had been conveyed to the centre that Sindh continued to suffer from long hours of power shutdowns.
“The Sindh government paid Rs2.4 billion to Hesco but the federal government did nothing in this regard and the province is still facing the power crisis,” said the statement, quoting contents of Mr Shah’s letter to Khawaja Asif.
“The non-payment to small power producers in Hesco and Sepco region has adversely affected the power generation. The sponsors have started shutting down the power plants. The closure of these SPPs would result in increased loadshedding which is around 20 hours a day and cannot be sustained in the month of Ramazan and extreme summer.”
Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2015