All oil-fired power plants to be shut down by 2019-20, says minister

Updated February 22, 2018


State Minister Abid Sher Ali makes a gesture during the open katchehry.—INP
State Minister Abid Sher Ali makes a gesture during the open katchehry.—INP

HYDERABAD: State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali has said that all power plants being run on oil will be shut down by 2019-20 and coal-fired power plants at Port Qasim will start generating 1,320 megawatts of electricity by next month.

Mr Ali said at an open katchehry in Wapda ground on Wednesday that record energy production had been achieved and 25,000MW of electricity would be available in the system during this year’s summer season.

He claimed that there was no electricity in the system when Mian Nawaz Sharif became prime minister but his government soon put an end to the “rule of darkness”.

The past governments only collected commission in the name of projects which were never launched on ground whereas the present government had established five new grid stations in Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) region alone and upgraded 50 others, he said.

He said that Rs4 billion were being spent in energy sector to put things on the right track and Rs200 million were being spent to provide electricity to 107 villages.

Mr Ali alleged that Babar Awan was involved in Rs60m graft case but the National Accountability Bureau did not go after him while supplementary references were being filed against Mr Sharif “even without new evidence”.

He said that he was surprised why those who were involved in corruption in import of locomotives during the Musharraf government were not arrested. PML-N leaders were appearing in peoples’ court and masses would hold them accountable if they had committed any wrongdoing, he said.

He claimed later at the inauguration of a grid station near Hyderabad bypass that PML-N government had fulfilled its promise of ending loadshedding in five years. Today there was no loadshedding on 156 feeders of Hesco and likewise no outages took place in industrial sector over the past three years.

The present government had produced 15,000MW of electricity whereas 13,000 MW were produced during last 70 years, he said, adding that a project of 800MW had been commissioned in Jhimpir.

He claimed that PPP leader Sharjeel Inam Memon used to sell CDs before amassing ill-gotten wealth and accused Asif Ali Zardari of taking 50 per cent commission on construction of every plaza in Sindh.

Mr Ali demanded that report of joint investigation team on Lyari gang war don Uzair Baloch should be made public and asked why NAB did not arrest Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur. If Sindh had to make progress people would have to get rid of PPP, he said.

He said that if PML-N was found to be involved in corruption then its leader should be “hanged in public”, but who would lay hands on ‘Sadiq and Ameen’ who, he alleged, was involved in corruption of funds of Shaukat Khanum hospital.

He said that Constitution and constitutional institutions were supreme and next election would prove as to who was Sadiq and Ameen.

Raham Ali Otho, Hesco chief executive officer, and other officers were also present at the open katchehry.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2018