PESHAWAR - Stirring a storm on electricity theft in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali accused Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf provincial ministers for ‘looting the electricity of the country.’

Addressing a press conference here at WAPDA House on Wednesday, he said that he visited WAPDA House Peshawar for the second time and these visits were aimed at bringing improvement in the distribution of power supply mechanism. He said that some improvements have been brought in PESCO affair and in the next few months it will be further improved. He said that instead of supporting the federal government in various issues, the provincial government was creating problems for it. 

Abid Sher Ali said that there are some areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where 90 per cent line losses have been recorded while some areas in district Bannu are still not part of the system and they are getting electricity through unfair means. He added the government would cut the electricity line of those people who are involved in electricity theft. He also mentioned that no one is paying bill in the constituency of Provincial Minister for Information Shah Farman and this non-payment of bill was extra burden on the system, which inflicts heavy losses on national exchequer. He enumerated the areas of Hasan Khail, Warsak Road, Badhabera, Sorizai and others where line losses were much high as compared to other areas.

He recalled that a Jirga was held with the resident of these areas, in which they had promised to pay the arrears but despite the Chief Minister assurance no single penny was paid to WAPDA department.

He said people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should cooperate with the government to reduce line losses as this will not only affect the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but will also affect the entire country.

To a question regarding handing over of PESCO to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the minister said that federal government will decide this matter as per the constitution. He also directed PESCO Chief Executive Tariq Sadozai to take further steps for reducing lines losses in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Online adds: Abid He stressed on Imran Khan to play his role to stop electricity theft in the province.

He said that to check electricity theft, new, stricter laws are being introduced accordance to which power thieves could be sentenced to three years in prison and fined Rs 10 million on commercial theft and sentenced to two years in prison and fined Rs 2.5 million for tempering with domestic meters.

The minister said if PTI pays all line losses, they will be allowed to “practice their favorite hobby of protests” and stage sit-ins.

Monitoring adds: Responding to accusations, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ministers have lashed out at Abid Sher Ali calling him a liar and accusing of gaining billions of rupees through allied ‘thieves’, a media report said.

Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf minister Shaukat Yousafzai alleged Abid Sher Ali of illegally gaining billions of rupees. Yousafzai further said that Sher Ali should check his ‘Sultan Rahi-styled dialogues’. The whole world knows how the worth of dollar escalates when Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz government comes to power, he added.

Provincial Minister Shah Farman asked why isn’t PESCO chief replaced if line losses are getting out of control.

PTI and PMLN’s hurling of accusations at each other has been ongoing since the general elections campaigning and continues to this day. The KPK government has demanded the federal government hand over the PESCO and related authorities’ control to the provincial government in order to curb line losses and other pertaining issues.