‘Energy Emergency Plan’: Haq takes WAPDA to task, reveals roadmap to power prosperity

Urges increase in net hydel profit share awarded to K-P.

Abdur Rauf June 18, 2013
Around Rs2 billion would also be spent from the Hydel Development Fund (HDF) for the completion of around 28 hydel power plant (HPP) projects, Haq informed. PHOTO: FILE


In its efforts to address the burgeoning power crisis in the province, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has come up with what it calls an ‘Energy Emergency Plan’ in the budget for 2013-14. While these steps may not bring in the desired results immediately as the projects will take considerable time to be completed, the government believes its initiatives will eventually mitigate the people’s sufferings.

The larger part of Finance Minister Sirajul Haq’s musings on the energy crisis was consumed by criticism of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) for failing to honour its constitutional obligation of paying net hydel profits (NHP) to the province.

While speaking on the floor of the house, Haq said under Article 161(2) of the Constitution, NHP is the right of K-P, but is violated. “The net hydel profit is capped at Rs6 billion since 1991-92 and was not increased even after the Arbitration Tribunal’s decision into the matter and despite the fact that power tariff has been increased manifold,” he complained.

“Even the Rs6 billion has not been paid according to the set schedule,” said Haq, adding: “Wapda completely failed to fulfil its obligations, which in turn has badly affected planning and allocation of resources in K-P.”

Earlier, the National Finance Commission (NFC) had recommended an increase of 10% on the Rs6 billion in the future, but Wapda did not implement the suggestions. Owing to the differences over the computation of net hydel profits between the provincial government and Wapda, an Arbitration Tribunal was constituted by the federal government on October 31, 2005 to resolve the dispute. The Arbitration Tribunal announced its award on October 9, 2006, wherein it earmarked Rs110.10 billion for the K-P government.

Of this, the federal government released Rs10 billion on November 16, 2009, with the remaining balance of Rs100 billion to be paid in four equal instalments of Rs25 billion on July 1 each year. The federal government consequently released Rs85 billion up till June 2013, with the last instalment of Rs25 billion to be paid to the K-P government in the next financial year (2013-2014).

“We ask the federal government, which was the guarantor in the matter, to play its due role in affording us all the outstanding dues under the head of NHP,” said Haq in his budget speech.

Power projects

Divulging information regarding the government’s Energy Emergency Plan (EPP), the finance minister said power projects would be prioritised to meet the needs of the people. He said power plants in Kohistan, Machai and Mardan are under various stages of construction and would start generating around 20 megawatts (MW) of electricity by 2014-2015.

Besides spending Rs1.5 billion from the Annual Development Programme (ADP), around Rs2 billion would also be spent from the Hydel Development Fund (HDF) for the completion of around 28 hydel power plant (HPP) projects, Haq informed. And, if the need arose, Rs3 billion would be reallocated from ‘other’ funds.

As for now, feasibility studies for three sites have been carried out, for which PC-1 (project cycle report) for Jabori Hydel Power Plant (7MW), Mansehra; Karora HPP (10MW), Shangla; and Koto HPP (31MW), Dir are pending approval of the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC).

In addition, the energy and power department has prepared Action Plan 2011-21 under which work on six hydel power projects with an installed capacity of 238MW is in various stages of planning. These HPPs are Matiltan (84MW), Swat; Daral Khwar (36MW), Swat; Koto (31MW), Dir; Karora (10MW), Shangla; Jabori (8 MW), Mansehra; and Lawi (69 MW), Chitral.

Moreover, three PC-1 forms for projects with the combined capacity of 426MW have already been forwarded to the federal government for approval. These include Sharmai HPP (150MW), Dir; Shusghai-Zhendoli HPP (144MW), Chitral; and Shogo Sin HPP (132MW), Chitral.

Besides hydel power generation, the energy and power department will carry out feasibility studies for construction of 200MW thermal power houses in the districts of Kohat and Karak. To improve the power distribution system, the government, in collaboration with the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco), is considering setting up a task force with Rs10 million to be allocated for the purpose.

Alternative energy

The government plans to start work on the construction of a 10MW solar power plant in the new fiscal year, while a feasibility report on another 50MW solar power plant would also be initiated during the period.

The finance minister claimed in his budget speech that under the EEP, around 100 villages with problems in accessing power would be provided electricity through solar power systems. A pilot project of 10MW wind power is also suggested in the energy plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

To help ease the current energy crisis, the K-P government has planned to provide Civil Secretariat Peshawar and the street lights grid with electricity generated through solar-powered systems: this will cost around Rs100 million.

In the same vein, the Bank of Khyber would be provided Rs300 million to create a favourable environment for the alternative energy market by granting loans on easy terms to manufacturers and importers of solar panels and other related equipment.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2013.


Sajid Iqbal | 8 years ago | Reply

This sums up the suffering of KPK. Net Hydel Profit still fixed at 1991 rates and still not payed in full. Same with Gas, going out cheaply. While at the same time other provinces mainly Punjab keep us charging dearly for their commodities like wheat and block it when they have to increase the prices further. People of Punjab should be thankful we never blocked anything.

Asif Khan | 8 years ago | Reply

I am proud voter of PTI - it is setting the standard too high.

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