Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that the terrorists had inflicted heavy damage to grid systems in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), and the federal government was trying to have those broken distribution lines repaired.
Speaking at The Express News talk show ‘To The Point’ to anchor Shahzeb Khanzada, the minister said that the current K-P electricity demand is 2,400 megawatts, but its weak and damaged grid systems could not sustain the load and hence, the ministry had to limit the supply to 1,700 megawatts.
The main grid station near Peshawar called Muhammadi Grid Station, which was hit by terror attacks, will be restored in two months. He said that Rs11 billion were required to restore distribution completely so that the province is supplied electricity according to its demand.
Transformers will be supplied to the province on an emergency basis in order to address the problem in a span of two months. Defending the slow-paced recovery of the power crisis, Asif said power crisis is a 15-year-old issue, and the PML-N government has been trying to handle it since it came to power about forty days back.
“It was the night before yesterday at Sehri time that we were producing 15,000 megawatts, the highest capacity of generation recorded in the last four years.”
He explained that outages did not only result from load-shedding – technical faults also contributed to the problem. The government is working to improve and upgrade distribution lines.
Asif welcomed the K-P government’s initiatives to introduce power projects.
“The federal government will attract investment for these proposed power projects; they can construct dams in Chitral, Swat and on River Kunhar.”
“Alternatively, if they want they can take up the power distribution and we can supply them electricity,” he suggested.
He said that the coal energy power stations will be installed at the coasts so that the coal transportation costs could be saved. He said that if the coal from Thar is used, the power plants will be installed on the mine-heads, again to save the costs of transportation.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.