Asif ready to reveal power theft details in NA

Consumers facing low voltage due to lengthy LT line: Abid Sher


Minister for water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Thursday said he was ready to present details of power theft in the House with particular reference to regions and feeders. Replying to a points raised by the opposition members from Sindh, the minister said, even millions of rupees against SCARP tube wells were payable against the consumers.
He asked the members to mention about their feeders and he will explain to the House the amount of power pilferage and recovery of dues. ‘I shall reveal names of all those involved in power theft, if members would have no objection.’
He said the federal government takes care of consumers at all DESCOs and feeders but unfortunately line losses and power theft is the main hurdle in addressing the issue of circular debt. Khawaja Asif said it was unfair to demand that uninterrupted power is supplied to all areas regardless to losses and power theft. ‘If there are more power losses, there will be more load-shedding.’
He said it is national issue and the water and Power Ministry desires cooperation of all members to ensure proper recovery of dues from their respective areas and feeders. PPP members Abdul Sattar Bachani, Syed Naveed Qamar and Nawab Yousaf Talpur had claimed that power outage duration had increased to more than 12 and 15 hours in different areas.
The members stated that regular consumers should not be penalized for power theft by a few as they proposed to disconnect power connection of those who were involved in this practice rather than suspending power supply to whole of locality.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali suggested to member to visit their respective areas and update on load shedding, power theft and recoveries. ‘It cannot be possible that the areas where power theft ratio is much more than other areas, can be provided power for the same duration as it was being done for the areas with hundred percent recovery.’
He complained of non-cooperation of provincial departments for taking action against power theft as he mentioned that 45 complaints were lodged with the police against power pilferage and only 17 FIRs were registered and nobody was arrested.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali on Thursday said that due to lengthy LT line, the consumers were facing low voltage problem.
Speaking in the National Assembly during question hour, he said the material has been allocated vide Manager (MM) MEPCO allocation and work will be completed by 30-4-2017. He said that all the IPPs were generating electricity in the country at present in accordance with respective dependable capacity, except for any planned/schedule maintenance outage.
However, he said in case IPPs generate less electricity than their generating capacity they were liable to heavy penalties, which are more than the fixed capacity payments. The efficiency of each IPP is determined at the Commercial Operation Date (COD) and the IPPs were required throughout the term of period to maintain it while in case of loss of efficiency IPPs were subject to penalty, he added.
The determination of penalty was done by NEPRA as it comes in its mandate, Abid said. Abid Sher Ali said that government has taken various steps to eliminate load shedding of electricity in the country by the year 2018.
Due to sincere and hectic effort of the government, the generation capacity of electricity was continuously increasing whereas load shedding was gradually decreasing inspite of continuous increase in electricity demand.
For incoming summer season, approximately 3870 MW Generation was expected to be added in the National Grid by June 2017, he informed the lower house. However, expected load shedding plan in coming summer season was including four hours in urban, six in rural while nil in industry.
He said, the government was committed to reduce load shedding of electricity to minimum level with objective to improve the socio- economic conditions in the country. This was possible mainly by reducing generation cost of electricity, the minister said.
To achieve the aforesaid objectives, the steps were being taken including installation of Hydel and Coal Power Plants, capacity improvement in power generation and consumption mix.—APP

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