KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Energy Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh on Monday told the provincial assembly that the federal government had decided to resort to loadshedding of gas across the country in December and January; he demanded normal gas supply to the province as it generated 70 per cent of the total gas production of the country.

While volunteering a statement during the Question Hour of the provincial assembly, he asked the federal government not to resort to gas loadshedding during the coming winter months in Sindh as it would be a violation of the Constitution.

The energy minister referred to Article 158 of the Constitution and said that Sindh had precedence over other parts of the country in meeting its gas requirement as 70pc of the natural gas was generated in the province.

He condemned the long hours of power loadshedding in Karachi and other cities of the province and told the lawmakers that he had written two letters to the federal government in that regard.

Seeks PTI lawmakers’ help for solution to loadshedding problem

Mr Shaikh also sought assistance from the opposition members belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for the resolution of the problem of loadshedding in Sindh and asked them to take up the issue with the PTI-led federal government.

He said that several projects of solar and wind energy were pending decisions by the federal government, which was injustice to the province.

Replying to a question by opposition member Arif Mustafa Jatoi, he said that there were six regional electric inspectorates in the province, including two in Karachi.

He said electric inspectorates issued certificates of competence and licences to electricians and electrical contractors.

The minister said there were six electric inspectorates functioning under the control of the energy department at divisional level in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Larkana and Sukkur.

Answering a question asked by PTI’s Khurram Sher Zaman, he said it was incorrect to suggest that the provincial electrical inspectors department had been non-functional for the past 14 years and added that thousands of houses and buildings which were being built were duly inspected by the electrical inspectors.

He said that the Karachi Region-I of the inspectorate issued 36 certificates of competence to electricians and 25 licences to electrical contractors, while Karachi Region-II issued 46 and 13, respectively.

He said that at present the office of the electrical inspectorate was housed in a building of the irrigation department at Baloch Colony.

Islamkot airport cost Rs2,016.5m

In reply to another question, the minister said a complete airport of category 3C type, having a capacity for handling aircraft ATC-42, C-130 and B-737 with restricted loads, was constructed by the Civil Aviation Authority with the funds provided by the provincial government at Islamkot, Thar. “The airport also has a terminal building to accommodate 50 incoming or outgoing passengers with air tower control”.

He said that Rs2,016.51 million was spent on planning, designing and construction of Thar airport at Islamkot.

The minister said that at present the airport at Islamkot was being looked after by the provincial government, but it would soon be handed over to the CAA.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018