ISLAMABAD -As the electricity shortfall on Monday soared up to 3,100 megawatt and country suffered one of the worst loadshedding spell, the State Minister for water and Power Abid Sher Ali assured that efforts were made to minimise power cuts.

“We are trying our level best to reduce load shedding and we are putting our best efforts to achieve this goal”, Ali said while talking to media during his visit to National Power Control Centre Islamabad.

Talking about government plans to add more electricity to national grid, Ali informed that in coming weeks fuel supply to Kot Addu and Muzzafargarh power plants will be ensured which will add 800-megawatt electricity to national grid.

He said average ten-hour loadshedding was carried out in the country and his government wishes to reduce it.

“Prime Minster will lay founding stone of 1300 megawatt projects on Tuesday, whereas Gadani power project will be inaugurated in August this year”, he said, adding, “we will not only lay foundation stones but will complete the real projects”.

He said wind power generation at Dasu will be inaugurated in November, whereas Tarbela Expansion project will also start this year.

Ali alleged that kick backs in past discouraged investment in different departments.

He said Sindh government has to pay Rs56 billion, Balochistan Rs80 billion, federal government Rs1.94 billion, AJK Rs37 billion, KP Rs220 million, Punjab Rs3.40 billion whereas private sector has to pay Rs25 billion in terms of electricity bills.

State minister reiterated that his ministry would take equal action against all defaulters. “We will ensure all recoveries till August”, he said. He emphasised again that only one who pays electricity bills would get electricity.

He said efforts were being made to recover all outstanding electricity arrears against various institutions and consumers and in this regard a comprehensive campaign had already been launched to stop power theft.

Abid Sher Ali said the campaign was not against any province or an individual rather it was against the power pilferers. As Minister was speaking the data monitoring units were indicating an alarming shortfall of 3100 megawatt. Power generation from hydel was 2900MW, while from thermal and IPP’s stood at 1440MW and 6060MW, respectively. Wind energy generation was 4 megawatts whereas indicators showing electricity production from Chasma Nuclear Plant were silent as the plant is closed for maintenance. The demand of electricity stood at 13500 megawatts.

According to officials, the recent shortfall was due to reduction in water flows from reservoirs. IRSA reduced water discharge from reservoirs some days back due to increasing flows in river Kabul. As on Monday discharge from Terbela and Mangla reservoirs was 30,000 and 38000 cusecs respectively.

Three days earlier this discharge was 47,000 and 45000 cusecs.  This reduction in water flow piled up electricity deficit from 2800MW to present 3100 megawatt, and masses suffered black outs up to 20 hours.

Shabqadar, a Tehsil of Charsada witnessed 20-hour load shedding during last 24 hours. In rural areas up to 16-hour loadshedding was reported while in some rural areas electricity was provided for 2-4 hours, during the same period.