Power generation capacity to increase up to 26000 MW by March 2018: Abid

HYDERABAD: State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali has said the country’s electricity generation capacity will increase to over 18,000 megawatt by the month of July and up to 26,000 MW by March, 2018.

“This is not rhetoric but the people will see the power projects materializing one after another,” he assured while addressing a press conference at Hyderabad Club.

“The people will see the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will inaugurate a new power project each month,” he assured.

The minister informed currently around 25 percent shortage of power existed in the country.

According to him, the total electricity demand in Pakistan stood around 16,000 MW while the total generation was 12,000 MW, leaving behind 4,000 MW shortage.

“The prevailing shortfall has been caused by a drop in the hydel generation which was producing only 1,600 MW out of its total capacity of 7,000 MW,” he explained.

Ali added the temporary closure of the 1,000 MW Guddu power plant, Nandipur and some other plants had added to the shortage as well.

The minister apprised among total generation of 12,000 MW, some 2,500 was coming from the GENCOs and 7,360 MW from the independent power producers besides the hydel production.

He said since 2013 up to 4,200 MW electricity had been added to the national grid by the incumbent government.

Talking about the complaints regarding the power outages in the jurisdiction of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO), the minister informed as many as 163 electric feeders out of 461 in HESCO were producing 50 percent or higher line losses.

“I request the media, while covering any protest against the outages, the distribution company’s version and the status of recovery from that particular feeder should also be obtained,” he suggested.

Abid Sher Ali said extended hours of load shedding in the areas connected with high loss feeders would continue until the recovery of electricity bills improved.

He told so far the HESCO had removed 772 transformers from the areas with high line losses and power theft, adding the bill paying consumers in such areas were being supplied electricity through low capacity transformers.

He further told the HESCO had given 1,620 applications for registrations of FIRs against the power thieves but so far only 72 of those applications had been entertained.

According to him, there are many areas in Latifabad Taluka of Hyderabad where the consumers had not paid electricity bills for 33 to 34 months but were still using the electricity.

He told that 3 sub divisional officers posted in Latifabad were facing action over the said issue whose inquiry was also underway.

The minister appreciated the Sindh Government for extending its cooperation to settle the multi billion dispute over unpaid bills of the former’s departments.

Ali said the provincial government had agreed to pay 60 percent of the total amount outstanding against all the provincial departments.

He alleged the PPP’s provincial government for failing to deliver as the province’s roads were in a dilapidated state, people did not get clean drinking water, health and education standards remain poor.

Ali said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would give the people of Sindh their right, adding that the party would put up a tough challenge to the PPP in the next general elections.

Earlier, the minister chaired a meeting attended by the officials of HESCO.