ISLAMABAD - A preliminary committee has been informed that 53000 of the 172000 posts in ex-Wapda Discos are lying vacant.

Out of 53000 vacant post posts, around 28000 are critical posts of engineers and linemen and require immediate recruitment, said Secretary Power Division Irfan Ali while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Power here. The committee that met with Senator Fida Muhammad in the chair asked that how such a big number of posts are lying vacant.

The committee was informed that in 2015 the Privatisation Commission put the Discos in the privatisation list which had halted the recruitment except for very important posts. Later in December 2017, the ban was lifted but soon the Election Commission of Pakistan imposed another ban, he maintained. 

The parliamentarians complained regarding the DISCOs not following the provincial quota in recruitments. The committee directed the ministry of energy that prescribed quota should be observed for all scales and all types of jobs in the DISCOs. Senator Moula Bux Chandio said that the rule of provincial quota should also be applied for the hiring in IESCO.

Secretary Power Division said that corruption and malpractices in energy sector must also be eradicated. These companies have also to improve their efficiencies and also improve their reporting systems.

The Committee was given detailed briefing on repair and maintenance of transformers by all DISCOs from government workshops and private sector. The Committee sought details as to why private sector was approached despite the presence of Transformer Reclamation Workshops of WAPDA. It was told that for repair and maintenance, DISCOs are relying on WAPDA Foundation Workshop. Due to lack of capacity of the WAPDA Foundation workshops sometimes, especially in summer, cannot accommodate the huge numbers of damaged transformers. Therefore private workshops are approached by the Discos to fix the transformers. Secretary Power assured the Committee members that all PPRA rules are followed when involving private companies and transparency is ensured by thorough inspection. Irfan Ali said that third party inspection will be done for the repair work of the entire transformer in private workshops. The enquiry report in this regard will be submitted to the committee, he added.

The Committee defined the matter of composition, selection criteria, scope of responsibilities and effectiveness of BOG of DISCOs so as to study the working paper in detail. The Committee was also given details about the Pehur Hydropower Project and Malakend-III Hydropower project.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of K-Electric, while briefing the committee, said that the lines tripping in the KE jurisdiction has come down by 63 percent and out of total 1760 feeders, 1260 are loadshedding free. The committee was informed that to eradicate the electricity theft KE is laying Aerial Bundle Cables (ABC) in various areas of Karachi.  “In two years, of 25,000 transformers, five thousand have been equipped with Aerial Bundle Cables (ABC),” he said.  

The meeting was attended by Senators Mushahidullah Khan, Muhammad Akram, Moulvi Faiz Muhammad, Muhammad Ali Shah jamot, Moula Bux Chandio, Ahmed Khan, Secretary Power, Joint Secretary Power, CEOs OF discos and other officials.