I was highly surprised, but at the same time delighted to know from a report captioned ‘Gas fired IPPs debt mounts to 32 b’ which appeared in your issue of April 18, that the energy crisis which brought Pakistan close to a position of doom can be easily solved. Now the question arises, if that is so, why did the PPP government keep the nation engulfed in darkness for five years? The report reveals that the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are in huge debt because of WAPDA’s default on its contractual obligations. Contrary to the power purchase agreement, WAPDA released meager, or in some cases absolutely no payments to the ‘gas fired IPPs,’ causing such a severe effect on their financial viability that these IPPs are almost on the verge of collapse.

This situation is the result of outgoing government’s discriminatory treatment towards the gas fired IPPs by routing the funds to oil fired IPPs to keep them running. The startling facts which have emerged from the report are that while the gas operated IPPs produce electricity at Rs 4.00 per kWh as against Rs 18.00 per kWh by oil fired IPPs, the Pakistan’s exchequer is losing $2.77 million per day, because the Zardari government chose to patronize the later for the reasons well known only to them.

It means that the power outages (blackout, loadshedding) that we are facing is not natural but of our former rulers’ making. In view of the above facts it is not difficult to solve the energy crisis. We should immediately shift to the gas fired IPPs and ensure regular supply of gas to them or make prompt payments for its purchase. It will automatically reduce the sky-high electricity bills providing a welcome relief to the people. The system should continue till we create a still cheaper source of energy, which lies in the Kalabagh Dam. The most popular slogan that the people are shouting these days is ‘Change – change and change’. As soon as ‘Mr Change,’ whoever he is takes over, he should go for the construction of KBD, not giving two hoots for its opponents.

RAFI NASIM,

Lahore, April 28.