LAHORE - Former WAPDA chairman Lt. Gen (retd) Zulfiqar Ali Khan has observed that electricity loadshedding can be reduced to four hours a day by taking few measures just in 100 days, including redressal of governance issues, resolving structural problems and ensuring 100 per cent recovery of billed amount.

General Zulfiqar, in his proposals sent to the government, has suggested that the professional management should be made effective in institutions and the staff given incentives in order to curb billions of rupees annual electricity theft, besides discouraging political interference at every level in these institutions.

He asked the government to create ministry of energy & natural resources, besides integrating NEPRA and OGRA into one organization. He suggested the authorities to unify operational control of PEPCO and WAPDA and review Power Sector Reforms, including privatization and generation policy.

“Stop supply of gas to transport sector except public transport and maximize supply to power sector. Reduce 50% gas supply to fertilize sector or increase price for this. Regarding administrative measures, he said that the principal of right person for right job should be implemented to ensure 100 per cent recovery of Rs15b arrears per month, improve customer service, theft control.

Other suggestions included: Overhaul/Tech improvement of GENCOs to generate 80 per cent of capacity of 4000MW from 5000 MW Capacity, as present generation is just 1500MW.

He suggested that Rs50 billion can be recovered from private sector per month which can be distributed as follows: Rs 15 billion for GENCOs, Rs 20 billion for IPPS and Rs 15 billion to oil and gas companies to generate electricity by IPPs up to 9000MW.

He said that present hydel generation is now limited to only 12 per cent of the total potential though it costs only Rs.1.54/ kwh.

In long term solution, he said that implementation of Wapda Vision 2025 was crucial in which construction of Kalabagh and other dams was included, he mentioned. He observed that by reducing one percent line losses Rs5 to 6 billion would be saved thus reduction in 5 percent line losses would create Rs 30 billion resources for Pepco.

His medium term solution included:

(a)    Control line losses to 18-20 per cent from present 25 per cent.

(b)    To reduce cost of generation by converting RFO stations to coal (local/imported).

(c)    Commence Two mega generation complexes, including Thar coal (5000MW over 5years) and Bhasha Dam + Bunji + Dasu (4500 + 7100 + 4300 MW).

 (d)    Commence feasibility studies of Skardu and Shyok dam — Resurrect Vision- 2025 program.

(e)    Wind and Solar energy in peripheral areas.

(f)    Liberalize grant of Sovereign Guarantees by Provinces, including first right of use of electricity.

(g)    Review pricing mechanism electricity, RFO and Gas.

(h)    Encourage small produces to sell power directly-to consumers thru DISCOs.

(I)    Ensure completion of Neelum - Jehlum, Tarbela extension, Nandipur, Chichu Ki Mallian and other private sector projects.

(j)    Compensate lost storage of dams due to sedimentation.

Zulfiqar Ali Khan said that electricity theft was impossible without the connivance of Wapda officials. He believed importing electricity from India could be political point-scoring but practically, it was not possible as in some Indian states there was eight-hour-long loadshedding underway.