The Awami National Party (ANP) along with other participating political parties in the Energy Conference held at Chief Minister House on Thursday appealed to the centre to hand over authority of electricity generation and distribution to the provinces.
The conference was meant to solicit recommendations for resolving the power crisis in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
The K-P provincial government led by ANP had convened an All Parties Conference (APC) on the power issue, but on the refusal of opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Jamiat Ulema-e- Islam-Fazlurrehman, Jamaat-e-Islami and PPP-Sherpao to attend the APC, the moot was renamed Energy Conference.
K-P Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti chaired the conference that was attended by PPP provincial chief, Senator Sardar Ali and K-P Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Afan Aziz.
Senator Afrasiab Khattak, ANP provincial president briefing the media after the conference said, “we had invited all the political parties and the concerned stake holders to attend APC to cogitate on how to address the power crisis but unfortunately it was given a political tinge and they (opposition political parties) did not come.”
Khattak said that the aim of the energy conference was to find out the factors behind the power crisis and their solution.
He said the conference noted that K-P could produce cheap power costing Rs2 per unit, but the same was being sold on high rates to the province.
“The whole problem is the centralisation of the power generation and distribution and we demand that it should be made a provincial subject,” Khattak said.
He rejected the idea of Punjab government that seeks power outages on equitable basis.
Power load management should be according to the electricity consumption in various provinces of the federation, he said.
According to Khattak, participants of the energy conference recommended that recovery process of Peshawar Electric Supply Company should be more effective along with controlling line losses.
The K-P chief minister has directed, after a briefing by experts on power production, that various options of power production including small projects on canals should be given due consideration, Khattak added.
He said that the CM also directed that a proper study be carried out on how the province can harness the gas sector for production of power in Karak district.
“We will continue the consultation process and will hold more such meetings on the issue of power,” the ANP stalwart maintained and claimed today’s conference would prove a fruitful one.
ANP will soon present the recommendations of the energy conference to the prime minister, Khattak said.
In his brief statement on the occasion Senator Sardar Ali said that he agreed with the demand for handing over generation and distribution of power to the provinces.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2012.