All is not well in power sector

209

AS load-shedding is increasing day by day sparking protests by consumers in different parts of the country, media reports speak of utter lack of planning and foresight to address the challenge. According to these reports, a 99-MW wind power project being developed in Sindh under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has suffered a setback as existing transmission system lacks capacity to carry the additional load. The state-run power purchaser is also reported to have threatened to impose penalty on sponsors of the project if the plant starts commercial production before the infrastructure is ready.
This has not happened for the first time as in case of Neelum-Jhelum hydro project as well where no planning for conduction of power was done and work on transmission line started only after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took serious notice of the lapse and gave clear instructions for the purpose. Work on that transmission line is also far from completion and there are apprehensions that the electricity to be generated by NJ project would not be added to national grid timely. In fact, the issue of transmission and distribution capacity has been there from the day one as experts as well as analysts have been emphasising the need for upgradation of existing system and laying of new transmission lines but those at the Ministry of Water and Power simply took no notice of this aspect. This amounts to defeating the overall objective and mission of incumbent government to get rid of the menace of load-shedding during 2018. One fails to understand the logic of initiating work on power plants without planning for transmission of the power to be produced to national grid. The sponsors of 99-MW wind power plant should have been appreciated for timely completion of the project as it would help realise the targets set by the PM for alleviating power shortages but strangely it is being threatened of penalty for its efficiency. Why to penalise those who deliver at the cost of those who miserably failed to conceive arrangements for carrying the power to national grid?