PESHAWAR -  State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali on Thursday said only those who pay the bills would be provided with electricity.

Addressing a press conference at Wapda House, Peshawar, he said the elements who are criticising the PML-N government have not built a single powerhouse.

He said the government has exempted the industrial sector from power outages. He said it is the vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to end loadshedding in the country and the day is not far when this dream would be materialised.

Abid said the capacity of Pesco has been doubled, but due to line losses, 12-hour loadshedding is being carried out in the areas where people are involved in electricity theft.

He blamed Charsadda Nazim Fahad Riaz for using illegal electricity, asking the deputy commissioner to register an FIR against him. He said even some members of the Peshawar District Council are not paying power bills.

The minister said work on the construction of 220KW grid stations in Charsadda, Mansehra and Dera Ismail Khan is in progress.

He regretted the provincial government is creating hurdles in acquisition of land for Nowshera grid station. He lashed out at PML-N opponents, accusing them of hindering progress.

He said electricity from Sahiwal Coal Power Project would be added to the system by next month. There are some regions in the country with zero power outages, he claimed.

He said some 415 feeders of total 963 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are providing uninterrupted power supply to consumers.

He said Peshawar Electric Supply Company was observing 18 to 20 hours of power loadshedding from 224 feeders where line losses are around 80 percent.

He said loadshedding would permanently end in the areas where line losses were zero.

The minister said work on three feeders each in Chakdarra, Manshera and DI Khan are in process, adding the feeders on completion would help stabilise the system.

He recalled that when PML-N came to power in 2013, the power demand in KP was 2,700MW, while the federal government added 1,800MW to the system and supported the provincial government. He said over 100-kilometer-main transmission line was laid at a cost of Rs 15 billion to increase the capacity and reduce the duration of loadshedding to a great extent.

He criticised the previous federal and provincial governments for not taking any significant step to reduce loadshedding.

The minister of state said the PML-N government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, took up the issue of loadshedding on priority and initiated various mega projects, including Neelum-Jhelum hydel power project. He said work on tunnels in Neelum-Jhelum Power Project has been completed, adding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would visit the site and inaugurate the project.

Abid said loadshedding in KP could not end until the provincial government does not initiate accountability against its own people involved in power theft.

To a question, he said Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah should first tell the nation why PPP government did not add a single MW to the system during their five-year of term. 

He alleged due to corrupt practices of the previous government, the cost of Neelum-Jhelum Power Project has escalated to Rs 500 billion, adding that by next summer 959MW would be added to the national grid through this project.

He said Asif Ali Zardari fled from the country after passing remarks against the military. He said PPP was afraid of PML-N’s popularity. He said Sharjil Memon, Dr Asim, Pervez Ashraf and Ayan Ali have exposed Pakistan People’s Party, adding Rs 51 billion were looted in the name of Benazir Bhutto and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto by showing that Rs 92 billion were spent on development projects in Larkana. He said the politics of PPP has been exposed and it would not get mandate in the next general elections.

To a question regarding Dawn leaks, he said Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan had presented the stance of the federal government.

Regarding Panama case, he said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had presented himself and children for accountability and the name of Maryam Nawaz was removed from the case.

Regarding the PTI chairman, he said Imran Khan did not keep his children with him, but was keeping dogs at his home. “I cannot understand why Imran Khan is making hue and cry today,” he remarked and advised him to await the joint investigation team’s probe into the allegations.