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LAHORE: Power distribution companies (DISCOs) have lost over 2.233 billion electricity units in high loss feeders in the last five months. Of the 10 companies, the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) remained the worst by losing 141.85 million units in November alone, according to a report by the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco).

The losses prompted the Pepco chief to warn chief executive officers (CEOs) of Discos to prepare robust proposals to reduce the losses and that the progress of all Discos would be monitored in monthly review meetings. The failure to cut the losses may invoke extreme measures under the Efficiency and Discipline Rules of 1978, the Electricity Act and the National Accountability Ordinance, if needed, the report warns quoting Pepco Managing Director Musaddiq Ahmed Khan as saying.

It says that 50 percent and above losses on 745 feeders were recorded during the month of Nov 2017 which resulted in wasting 250.71 million KWH (units). Whereas the losses at same percentage were recorded during July to November 2017 on 1,241 feeders of 11kV of Discos (except the Islamabad Electric Supply Company), causing loss of 2.233 billion units.

Peshawar electric lost 141.85 million units in November: report

The report says the Quetta Electric Supply Company lost 37.37 million units, the Sukkar Electric Power Company 20.01 million units and the Lahore Electricity Supply Company 16.64 million units in November.

The Pepco management said this loss was a perpetual drain on the power sector finances and indicated the poor performance and inefficiency on the part of Discos.

Mr Khan directed the CEOs to prepare the proposals including the options of outsourcing billing and collection on the aforementioned feeders.

The proposals should be placed before respective boards of directors of Discos for consideration, decision and implementation, he added.

About requests of certain Discos to the ministry for the provision of law enforcement agencies to arrest power thieves, a senior ministry official said that the companies would have to present concrete evidences to establish the need for law enforcers to accompany them in field work. “That is why the ministry is taking up the issue by monitoring performance of Discos and their BoDs,” he added.

On the other hand, some Discos called the Pepco report as not based on facts.

“The data on line losses (mentioned in the report) is not based on facts, as it is not reconciled with the data available with Discos. Lost units shown in the report are too much high, whereas it is not as per actual situation,” commented an official of one of the Discos.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2018