ISLAMABAD - A parliamentary committee on Tuesday directed the power distribution companies (Discos) to complete the ongoing electrification schemes being carried out under the PM’s sustainable development goals programme within the stipulated timelines.

The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Energy met under the convenership of Mian Tariq Mehmood, MNA in Islamabad. The Committee expressed its satisfaction on the implementation status of the recommendations of the Committee regarding Power Division, M/o Energy made in its previous meetings.

The Committee asked the Power Division to ensure supply of required material to all the power distribution companies. The committee appreciated the mechanism devised by the companies for redressal of overbilling complaints of the domestic consumers. The Committee also asked the Power Division to devise a policy regarding shifting of high tension power lines from the residential areas throughout the country. The Committee deferred the agenda regarding Petroleum Division for its next meeting.

APP adds: Minister of State for Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali Tuesday expressed confidence that the low voltage problem, being faced in some parts of the country, would come to end by March 31.

He apprised the meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on Energy that comprehensive work was being carried out on upgradation of the existing power distribution system besides setting up new grid stations, which would help control low voltage issues across the country.

On a query of the committee member, the minister said the department concerned made payments to land owners on account of ‘right to way’ to pass the high voltage transmission lines over their land, however, some people voluntarily allow to pass the lines.

He cited the example that land affected people of Neelum-Jhelum transmission line were made four to five percent higher payments than the market rate, adding “Everything is on record.”

Earlier, the meeting was briefed by power distribution companies including Lahore Electric Supply Company, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company and Peshawar Electric Supply Company over the measures taken to address over billing and estimated billing complaints.

In Lahore, the body was informed that 100 percent meter reading was performed through mobile phones, while out of total 3.8 million active consumers, around 2.6 million have been registered with their mobile numbers. “By January 31, all consumers with reference numbers and mobile number will be registered with the company,” the CEO of LESCO said.

In Faisalabad, the FESCO CEO said 99 percent meter reading was being carried out through mobile phones, whereas all consumers with their mobile phones would be registered by January 31, which would help bring down the number of complaints drastically. A representative of Peshawar Electric Supply Company complained about the excessive line losses and problems being faced due to low voltage.

Minister for Housing and Works Akram Khan Durrani, being member of the committee, sought outcome of the inquiry conducted by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the reported theft cases in the Karak Oil Field. The Committee decided to summon the FIA and NAB officials for briefing in next meeting.