MULTAN: Metro Buses and Train projects are not the government’s top priority, solving the energy crisis is, State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said at the inaugural ceremony of the 132KV Mankot grid station on Monday.
He said transport and infrastructure projects were a part of the government’s larger “revolutionary development plan” for the country.
Towards the beginning of 2018, another 10,000MW will be added to the national grid, he said. “For that, work on water, coal, gas, LNG and other power sources has been expedited.”
Ali said that the federal government had devised a suitable plan to solve the energy crisis soon after coming to power. He said since 2013, the government had initiated work on a number of power stations and projects. “We now have a better transmission and distribution system than what we started with,” he said.
Line losses have been reduced and the recovery rate has risen to 93 per cent in some areas, he said. The minister said consumers had been provided relief worth Rs85 billion as fuel price adjustment. The ministry has ensured effective monitoring of electricity distribution companies, which has improved the performance of these companies, he said. Ali also announced one-month basic salary as bonus to workers of the Multan Electric Power Company involved in establishing the Mankot grid station.
Mepco Chief Executive Fazllulah Durrani said that Mepco provided services to almost 5.1 million consumers in south Punjab. Two transformers of 10/13 MVA have been installed at the Mankot grid station and 20.5km long transmission line has been laid to provide electricity to the grid station. He said the grid station has been built at a cost of Rs230.1 million. It will provide power to six feeders in Salar Wahin, New Mati Tal, Nawan Sher, New Musa Pak, Jhok Wains and New Sangi rural areas. The new grid station will help Mepco overcome problems of fluctuating voltage and there will be fewer outages, he said.
Ali said there was no doubt that the government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be voted back in 2018.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2016.