Ijaz Kakakhel Islamabad
Minister for Power Engineer Khurram Dastgir on Friday told the national assembly the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) would be installed by end of the current fiscal year and it would help overcome the power losses in the country.
Responding questions at the floor of the House, he said that this system was being used in developed countries and it was yielding positives results both for the organization and consumers. The minister said that it would also help control electricity theft which was being conducted through ‘Kunda System’ in many areas across the country.
The installation of this new metering system will bring a significant change in power division and also provide relief to the consumers in the shape of minimum load-shedding in their respective areas, he added.
He said that as per normal routine, the load-shedding was being observed eight hours particularly in those areas where 60 to 70 percent of bills were not being recovered but now-a-days when the electricity situation was in a better condition, approximately four to six hours load-shedding was being observed there.
He further said that it was policy of the government that there should be short period of load-shedding in those areas where the ratio of losses was low.
Expressing reservation on this new metering system, MNA Ghullam Ali Talpur said that the Power Division had made a number of experiments since so far but it could not get desired results yet. He said that before introducing the AMI system, the division concerned installed ABC cable networking across the country on which a huge national exchequer was sent but it was failed.
Responding to the respective Member of National Assembly (MNA), the minister seconded his apprehension and said that the cable networking project was flopped due to certain reasons expressing the hope that through the AMI system, the picture would be clear that how much electricity was being used and how much was being theft against the feeder.
He said it would also improve the quality of billing mechanism as it would settle down the issue of deduction bills which was being imposed on the consumers unnecessarily and illegally in various areas of the country.
Complaining about the deduction bills, MNA Dr Darshan Lal proposed the minister to establish a ‘complaint cell’ at the Ministry level for timely re-dressal of the consumers’ grievances.
He went on to say that it was a persistent issue in Sindh and people had to pay extra bills against their consumed units. The Minister also said that Hyderabad Electric Supply Company will have its own transformer repair workshop by June 2023. The ministry has issued directions in this regard and the work has been started, said the minster responding to a question raised by MNA Salahuddin.
The minister said that HESCO during fiscal year 2020-21 spent 98.722 million on repair maintenance of transformers and during 2021-22 spent 175.899 million rupees while repairing 841 transformers. About low voltage, the minister said that his ministry has already issued directions to make earthing of all transformers across the country along with balancing all three phases of transformer for ensuring provision of full voltage to the consumers.