WHEN Wapda was the government’s only water and energy management organisation we had enough electricity, had no load-shedding, no frequent power breakdowns and had a consistent supply of electricity.
We then had growth in energy requirement and saw a continuous growth in production without any load-shedding. Hydro-electricity was the cheapest since it was from natural resources.
After the early 1990s, we started hearing about new organisations sprouting up to improve the energy sector like Discos, Gencos, NTDC, etc.
Sadly, today we have nearly four times the installed capacity than consumption, have a circular debt of about Rs1.5 trillion, have excess or unwanted fuel-generated power plants producing high cost electricity, face frequent power breakdowns and regular load-shedding. Needless to talk of the high overheads of these companies.
As consumers we are hearing a lot about all these issues for a long time from the governments whether political or military, blaming each other for this disaster. But no one has been trying to rectify the odds.
The solution to these issues is still the hydel power generation which is being ignored because the fuel-generated power plants genie is out of the bottle and has grown so big the hydro-electricity is gone out of sight.
Will the government take the challenge to set the house in order to finally generate sufficient, trouble-free and economical electricity for both domestic and commercial consumption? Our one big reason to lose export markets is heavy energy cost we have today.
The consumers are not interested in the modern concepts embedded in these companies if results are bad. Therefore, think tanks need to bring back Wapda and hydro-electricity as the main energy source. This task may be gigantic, but it will save the energy future of Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2019