To placate provinces, govt to make power distribution data public

Published: December 1, 2017
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: In an effort to end dispute among provinces over the distribution of electricity, Federal Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari has directed the Power Division to take immediate steps for displaying power generation and distribution data on the website of Power Information Technology Company.

It would ensure “maximum transparency and provision of accurate information to the public at large,” Leghari said while meeting a delegation of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government, led by provincial Minister for Energy Atif Khan, on Thursday.

Referring to K-P’s longstanding demand for unveiling the data of electricity supply to distribution companies, the minister acknowledged that it would be more transparent to share information with the general public.

Dense smog almost caused power breakdown in parts of Punjab

He asked the K-P energy minister to provide help in curbing power theft in different areas of the province. In this regard, Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) has been directed to offer incentives to its staff deputed in areas covered by high-loss feeders in order to control losses and ensure uninterrupted power supply.

Leghari revealed that the federal government was also considering providing incentives for the law enforcement agencies to support them in their endeavours to stop electricity theft.

“With consistent efforts of the government, power generation has reached the level where we can meet electricity demand in the country. There is no shortage of electricity right now,” he emphasised.

The K-P energy minister acknowledged that load-shedding could not be equal in high-loss and low-loss areas, adding the provincial government was ready to assist Pesco in its drive against power theft and to recover consumer bills.

In a separate meeting, Leghari directed the distribution companies to clear the backlog of requests for electricity connections in the next one month. It was a review meeting attended by CEOs of all distribution companies and officials of Pakistan Electric Power Company and the Power Division.

The minister took a strong exception to around 400,000 pending applications for new connections and underlined the need for taking swift measures to provide energy meters for the consumers.

He suggested that the distribution companies may call special meetings of their boards in order to accelerate the purchase of necessary material for new connections.

He directed that load-shedding should be carried out in high-loss areas as per fixed schedule proportionate to the percentage of losses.

‘Load-shedding for industries to end’

A hotline will be established to monitor the schedule of outages in the high-loss areas. The minister himself will keep a close watch on the schedule while Power Information Technology Company will prepare reports.

“All efforts should be made to curtail the losses so that maximum number of consumers can be ensured uninterrupted electricity supply,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2017.

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