The country’s power crisis, which has led to hours-long outages on a daily basis, will end by the time the next general elections are held in 2018, stated Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif.
He made the pledge to resolve the electricity crisis while speaking at a seminar on Tuesday arranged by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) to mark the completion of 57 years of Wapda.
He said that 10,000 megawatts of electricity would be added to the national grid to tackle shortages.
He said that the government has planned to bring additional electricity from coal and gas in another three years, just in time for the next elections.
However, he warned that in the coming years, water scarcity is likely to get worse in the country and needs immediate policy steps to tackle the shortage as it is not being given priority.
But he claimed that the government was constructing new water reservoirs to store water and that steps were being taken to apprise the people of the need for water conservation.
He suggested cutting down on the extravagant use of water, electricity and gas, which could save up to 1,500MW. He said that efforts are being made to minimise the line losses by upgrading the transmission infrastructure.
“The closure of markets at 8pm is a practice which takes place in many nations, this should also be taken up in Pakistan as it will help in overcoming the looming energy crisis.”
He said that the government is particularly focusing on the addition of low-cost electricity to the national grid to meet the increasing energy requirements.
“Hydel generation is the preferred source of electricity generation, which requires huge capital investment for which different financing models are being considered.”
Wapda would engage with the private sector for financing the hydropower projects in the country.
He said that China has shown a great deal of interest in Diamer Bhasha Dam and Dasu hydropower project.
Asif also criticised the Planning Commission and said if the commission had existed in the Mughal era, it would have made sure that Taj Mahal was not constructed.
Talking about K-Electric, the minister said that no substantial talks have been held by the stakeholders on the issue of 650MW power supply to the utility from the national grid.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2015.