ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif has declined to give a deadline to end power loadshedding and said it might take years, but the PML-N government would try to decrease power outages in the upcoming holy month of Ramazan.

Talking to media persons here on Saturday after assuming the charge of his office, Khawaja Asif minced no word to end the menace of electricity loadshedding which had added miseries and intensified citizens’ agonies. He said that years, not weeks or months, were required to clean up the mess left by the previous governments which ruled the country during the last 13/14 years.

Khawaja Asif expressed deep concern over power theft and the soaring line losses. He advised the power distributing companies (Discos) to keep equal load shedding across the country without discrimination. He also instructed the Discos to immediately submit a report on the rising power theft, heavy line losses and status of collection of outstanding dues.

While sharing the PML-N government’s strategy to address the issue of electricity shortage, he said a plan consisting of immediate‚ medium and long-term relief had been prepared to decrease the miseries of the common man already bearing the brunt of unscheduled power outages for a long time. He said their first priority was to reduce the duration of loadshedding and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would himself announce the contents of this strategy soon under which domestic consumers would be given preference followed by the industrial units. He said equal power loadshedding without any discrimination, end to corruption of power sector, increase in power generation and suitable power tariff as well would be ensured.

Replying to a question raised by journalists, Asif assured them of making utmost efforts to resolve the unscheduled power load shedding issue, adding the people would be informed of unannounced loadshedding in case of some emergency.

Meanwhile, the Wapda chairman, the water and power Secretary and other senior officials called on the power minister. The Wapda chairman gave briefing to the minister on hydel power projects while other officials briefed him on the affairs of the ministry.

It is worth mentioning that amid scorching heat and dry weather, the power situation on Saturday enhanced the miseries of the masses and intensified their agonies as power generation was recorded 12,000mw against the demand of 16500mw with an alarming shortfall of 4500mw.