PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government has failed to cooperate with the federal government to resolve the power crisis in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. This was said by State Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali. He was speaking at a news conference in WAPDA House in the city on Thursday. The minister criticised the PTI-led provincial government for not resolving power outages in the province.
“The federal government has provided funds for various power projects to generate electricity,” he said. “The K-P government has not utilised these funds for the last three years.” He added the federal government has requested the K-P government for the acquisition of land for grid stations in Nowshera, Chakdara, Kohat, and DI Khan.
“However, the government has yet to acquire them with the exception of DI Khan,” Ali said, “PTI does not want development and prosperity of K-P and to resolve the power crisis to provide relief to the consumers. There is no load-shedding on 265 feeders in K-P where the line losses are below 50% while the remaining 524 feeders have line losses of over 70%.” He said the power crisis could be resolved by March 2018 in the country by generating over 8,000 megawatts of electricity from various ongoing power projects, including Neelum-Jhelum project.
The minister maintained the power crisis could only be resolved if the chief minister takes interest in the matter instead of focusing on sit-ins.
“CM Pervez Khattak’s relatives were caught stealing electricity and cases were registered against them,” he said. “How can he resolve the power crisis in the province?”
He said federal government was committed to replacing power transmission lines that could help overcome power outages in the province.
The other view
When contacted, Adviser to CM on Information Mushtaq Ghani rubbished the allegations levelled by the state minister.
Ghani said Abid Sher was making a false claim by saying the K-P government was not cooperating with the federal government to resolve power crisis. “The federal government was stealing between 8,000 and 10,000 megawatts of electricity of the province on a daily basis,” he added.
According to the adviser, the federal government should provide their due share of power to the province so that the power crisis could be redressed.
About the land acquisition, Ghani said the federal government could have contacted DC of the respective districts and the provincial government has nothing to do with the issue.
“If the federal government has some issues with the districts, it could easily approach the provincial government,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2016.
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