ISLAMABAD (APP) Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has appealed to the people to decrease power usage and save energy. Talking to media persons after visiting the National Power Control Centre he said the government was trying to control unscheduled power outage, adding that new projects would become active in one and a half month, which would help in improving the situation. He said IRSA and Met office informed him that the water situation would improve soon. The minister said the hydel power production was normally around 6,400 MW but currently only 1500 to 1600 MW were being added to the national grid because of the water shortage in reservoirs. Presently, the demand is touching 15,000 MW because of the severe heat wave. The thermal units are producing according to their total capacity of nearly 10,000 MW, Pervaiz added. Earlier, chairing a special meeting, Ashraf said some people were politicising the energy crisis, adding that the citizens should cooperate to meet the challenge. He urged the traders, industrialists and politicians to avoid politicising the issue of power shortage. He said the government was taking concrete steps to meet energy needs and all the vacations and foreign tours of WAPDA and PEPCO employees had been cancelled. He said on the directives by the president and the prime Minister, concrete steps were being taken on emergency basis to resolve the problem and a crisis cell had been established to tackle the issue. Ashraf said 1,000 MW would be added to the system from IPPs and RPPS in next two months. He pointed to the fact that the water level at Mangla Dam was reduced owing to persistent dry spell. He said the ministry was also taking steps against power theft and strict action would be taken against the WAPDA employees involved in the crime.