LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, in its two years in power, has increased power generation up to 2,500 megawatts (MW) and is determined to end the power crisis by 2017, according to State Minister of Water and Power Abid Sher Ali.
“We have succeeded in increasing the capacity of the power transmission system from 13,750MW to 16,300MW in the last two years,” he said, while addressing a press conference.
“In the past, no concrete efforts were made by the previous governments to upgrade the ageing system.”
The minister further said that the government is trying its best to further strengthen the transmission lines and vows to increase its capacity to 21,000MW by the end of 2016.
Besides laying transmission lines, the present government established a 500kv grid station and nine 220kv stations to boost the power supply system, he added.
“Problems pertaining to low voltage would be completely eliminated following the upgrades planned for the transmission and distribution systems by 2016,” said Ali.
“The government is also working towards backup recovery systems to avoid nationwide blackouts.”
Speaking on the persistent load-shedding that is plaguing Swat, Mardan and Swabi, Ali said that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has not been able to allocate land for construction of grid stations in the area, terming it as the main hurdle in power supply to the area.
“Now the K-P government has taken steps for allocation of land and we hope that a 500kv grid station would be set up in the next one and half year, resolving the power-related issues of the area,” he said.
The minister claimed that there is no forced power load-shedding being conducted in the country. Power load-shedding is only being subjected to consumers of areas where there are high losses.
“About 80% of urban and 80% of rural areas have been exempted from load-shedding during Sehri and Iftari timings,” said the minister.
Talking about the Sukkur Electric Supply Company, he said that losses in as many as 320 feeders in the distribution company stood at 60% to 100%, while 110 feeders showed losses of 40 to 45%, which is a high ratio. He further claimed that these losses translated into Rs1 billion monthly deficit for Islamabad.
Referring to the delay in laying transmission lines linking the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project with the national grid, the minister said that it will be completed by June 2016.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2015.
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