KARACHI - The Sindh Cabinet yesterday endorsed Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s decision to surrender the services of Inspector General of Police AD Khawaja to the Centre and assign the charge of the slot to Abdul Majeed Dasti.

The decision was taken in a specially convened cabinet meeting at the CM House with Murad Ali Shah in the chair. All the provincial ministers, special assistants, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon and other officers concerned attended the meeting.

Sindh Advocate General Zameer Ghumro briefed the cabinet about the verdict of the Sindh High Court in the case of the IGP. He said the court had observed that the cabinet had not approved the decision of surrendering the services of IGP AD Khawaja to the Centre and giving acting charge of the position to Abdul Majeed Dasti. On this, the cabinet endorsed the decision.

Meanwhile, the cabinet observed Sindh and its people were being meted out step-motherly treatment by the Centre in respect of water distribution and prolonged loadshedding. As a result, not only crops were turning pale, but also people and animals were suffering seriously in the sweltering weather.

Energy Secretary Agha Wasif, briefing the cabinet on loadshedding, said Hesco was observing four to 16 hours loadshedding. He added: “If feeder losses are 20 percent, it means loadshedding should be four to six hours and if feeder losses are from 20 to 30 percent, there should be six to eight-hour loadshedding. In case of 30 to 40 percent feeder losses, there should be 10-hour loadshedding, 40 to 50 percent feeder losses means 12-hour loadshedding and 50 to 60 percent feeder losses mean 16-hour loadshedding,” he said and added the rural areas of the province were facing the worst situation.

He said Sukkur district headquarters was facing four-hour loadshedding, taluka headquarters six hours and rural areas eight hours.

The cabinet expressed its displeasure over the worst loadshedding and said Hesco and Sepco were recovering power bills from residential consumers through NAB. “This is not acceptable at all,” the cabinet unanimously said.

Talking about K-Electric, Agha Wasif said where feeder losses are 40 percent, KE was observing 2.5 hours load-shedding, on 25 percent losses, it observes two hours and on 15 percent losses, it observes one-hour loadshedding.

Sharing the reasons of loadshedding with the cabinet, he said peak demand in the country up to March 31 was 17,970MW and in April it came down to 15,600MW. Another reason he counted was low recovery of dues from private consumers. The inefficiency of Discos, weak transmission and distribution system and delayed maintenance of Gencos were also contributing to prolonged loadshedding.

He added the other reason behind the loadshedding was gap between tariff and actual cost. Circular debt on March 31 was Rs 385 billion, dues of gas companies were estimated at Rs 125 billion.

The energy secretary said SSGC supplied gas to K-Electric at a critical level. In April 2017, KE was getting 208 mmcfd and this time KE was getting only 120 mmcfd. As a result, gas-based power generation capacity cannot be fully utilised by KE, which has created a shortfall of 400 MW in the city and the city was facing loadshedding up to six hours.

Giving details of payments made to Hesco and Sepco against power bills of government department, Agha Wasif said Rs 27.398 billion were to be paid as full and final settlement of all dues from July 2010 to July 2016. He added Rs 22.83 billion – Rs 8.525 billion to Hesco and Rs 14.305 billion to Sepco – have so far been paid. The current bill of Rs 1.069 billion which was up to December 2016 has also been cleared. The chief minister directed the finance and energy secretary to clear all the remaining dues.

It was also pointed out that KE power bill against KWSB from June 2016 to Feb 2017 was Rs 4.796 billion while there is claim of Rs 952 million arrears against KMC/CDGK. On this the chief minister said the Sindh government was paying KWSB electricity bills every month.

Meanwhile, the provincial census chief also briefed the cabinet about the second phase of census. Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon said his house had not been counted so far, adding only a census team had visited his house to count his family members and, instead of asking him any question mentioned in the questionnaire, they asked him about the arms licences he had. The chief minister said who asked him that question. He replied it was Pakistan Navy’s man. The chief minister directed the provincial census chief to convey the reservation of the cabinet to the census commissioner. The cabinet also expressed its reservation over keeping the counting secret from the family members concerned.

Irrigation Secretary Jamal Shah, briefing the cabinet, said early kharif had started from April 1 to June 10 while late kharif would start from June 11 to September 30. He said during the last 10 days of March, the shortage reached 55 percent while the Irsa had anticipated 17 percent shortage. He said the response to shortage had been made sagaciously. The drinking water is assigned priority by ensuring 4,000 cusecs downstream Kotri. Rotation plan has been put in place and Irsa has been requested to open supplies from Punjnad and they allowed 4,000 cusecs in March.

Talking about shortage during early kharif, the irrigation secretary said Irsa had anticipated 12 percent shortage, but it has exceeded 50 percent. The chief minister said the Irsa should give water share to Sindh as per the accord. He urged Irsa to close all the link canals during the shortage period and fulfil Sindh’s indent to save cotton crop.

Secretary Jamal Shah said temperature was rising at Skardu. He said currently it was 14.4 centigrade. The Met Office forecasts higher temperatures, low rains and sufficient melting of snow.

He said inflows in Tarbela were improving to 27,300 cusecs and Irsa had begun fulfilling indent obligations of Sindh. He hoped the situation would improve within 10 days subject to the condition that Skardu temperature continued to rise.

The chief minister said if there was shortage of water in Tarbella, Irsa should give water to Sindh from Mangla. This demand of the chief minister was approved by the cabinet.

From page 1

of asking him any question mentioned in the questionnaire, they asked him about the arms licences he had. The chief minister said who asked him that question. He replied it was Pakistan Navy’s man. The chief minister directed the provincial census chief to convey the reservation of the cabinet to the census commissioner. The cabinet also expressed its reservation over keeping the counting secret from the family members concerned.

Irrigation Secretary Jamal Shah, briefing the cabinet, said early kharif had started from April 1 to June 10 while late kharif would start from June 11 to September 30. He said during the last 10 days of March, the shortage reached 55 percent while the Irsa had anticipated 17 percent shortage. He said the response to shortage had been made sagaciously. The drinking water is assigned priority by ensuring 4,000 cusecs downstream Kotri. Rotation plan has been put in place and Irsa has been requested to open supplies from Punjnad and they allowed 4,000 cusecs in March.

Talking about shortage during early kharif, the irrigation secretary said Irsa had anticipated 12 percent shortage, but it has exceeded 50 percent. The chief minister said the Irsa should give water share to Sindh as per the accord. He urged Irsa to close all the link canals during the shortage period and fulfil Sindh’s indent to save cotton crop.

Secretary Jamal Shah said temperature was rising at Skardu. He said currently it was 14.4 centigrade. The Met Office forecasts higher temperatures, low rains and sufficient melting of snow.

He said inflows in Tarbela were improving to 27,300 cusecs and Irsa had begun fulfilling indent obligations of Sindh. He hoped the situation would improve within 10 days subject to the condition that Skardu temperature continued to rise.

The chief minister said if there was shortage of water in Tarbella, Irsa should give water to Sindh from Mangla. This demand of the chief minister was approved by the cabinet.