Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah has said the coal-fired power plant in Sahiwal is not environment-friendly and would turn half the population of Punjab province into Tuberculosis (TB) patients.
Chairing a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday, the PPP senior leader, who is also the chairman of the committee, said people would die from smoke and air pollution and that would lead to registration of murder cases against the Punjab government, Express News reported.
“This project is a section 302 case against the government,” Shah said and demanded that the coal-fired plant must be stuck down at the earliest.
Today’s meeting was called to review overall situation regarding damages and theft in the power generation department.
Leader of the opposition in lower house of parliament said the issue of power theft would be eliminated the day correct electricity tariff is charged from the consumers. “Wapda [Water and Power Development Authority] must consider reasons behind the power theft… people will steal when they are charged five rupees instead of one,” he remarked.
The PAC chief said the main reason behind electricity theft in rural areas was over-billing. “In the last five years, you [Wapda] will also resort to go door-to-door and beg people to buy electricity like PTCL [Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited],” he said, adding, “But, people will not buy electricity and switch to solar energy.”
Committee member Naveed Qamar, another PPP leader, said on the occasion that consumers were suffering due to over-billing and 90% bills were being sent without meter-reading by applying average formula.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Shafqat Mehmood said electricity bills were being delivered at homes just a day before the deadline and claimed that he was also a victim of that practice.
Admitting shortcomings of the department, Water and Power Secretary Yousuf Naseem said ‘all was not well’ as complaints of over-billing and delays in bill distribution were being received.
He, however, vowed that an effective system for consumer complaints will be activated within the next three months.