10pc Punjab population falling prey of TB, breathe related diseases due to smog

Islamabad: Almost ten percent population of Punjab province has become victims of Tuberculosis and breathe related diseases due to smog, was revealed during the meeting of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday.

The meeting was chaired by Opposition leader Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah and attended by Syed Naveed Qamar, Shireen Rehman, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Raja Javed Ikhlas, Dr. Azra Pacheho, Senator Hidaytullah, Senator Azam Swati, Shafqat Mehmood and Nazeer Sultan.

Chairman PAC said that main reason behind the smog were power projects being run on coal. He advised to close down these projects as proposed earlier not to install projects on coal. He was of the view that cases must be registered against rulers over the issue. He elaborate that ten percent population of Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Gujrat has fallen prey of Tuberculosis and breathe related diseases, which needed to be investigated.

It was revealed in the meeting that every year power worth Rs 216 billion was being theft in Pakistan out of this Rs 160 billion was being theft due to grid station fault and Rs 56 billion by the masses. It also sought complete record regarding late payment recharge by the consumers.

Secretary Power, Nasim Khokhar disclosed the Prime Minister has also approved establishment of Hazara distribution company while the remaining distribution companies would be divided. He told that a sum of Rs 440 million is spent on transformation of 220 KV grid station to 500 KV grid station. He admitted that performance was not satisfactory due to shortage of staff.

Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah said circular debt worth Rs 480 billion has been paid to avert load-shedding. He said when the price of oil was $ 120 per barrel then the per unit price of electricity was Rs 9 but now prices of oil have been decreased while rates of powers have been increased and now electricity is being sold at Rs 16 per unit.

He sought details of oil purchase and per unit price. He further said that details of grid stations across the country must be provided to PAC. He observed that officers in the guise of corruption did not note meter reading and also level allegations of meter theft. He underscored the need to investigate this issue.

He said that affluent class was involved in gas and power theft while the onus is shifted on the poor.

Khurshid Shah further said that Parliament would not keep itself mum over the issue of power theft. He feared that people would quit purchasing the power as they would be shifting on solar energy due to corruption.

He said that cost of transformer was Rs 1,50,000 while Rs, 2,50,000 were being received from the poor masses.
Mehmood Khan Achakzai asked to impose ban on producing electricity from coal. He cited that China has shut down its coal plants while these projects are being given to us. Khurshid Shah proposed that such projects should be established in deserts instead of fertile lands.

Raja Javed Ikhlas said let out government end the load-shedding as the elections were approaching fast while demand of power projects closure was being made. Upon this Syed Khurshid Shah said that the issue was not being politicized but facts are being discussed. “We are not talking about the people of Sindh but Punjab”, he added.

Secretary power told the meeting that Port Qasim coal project would become functional from November 30. He informed that 70 percent power projects are being run on coal in India. He said there was no coal project in the country before the Nawaz led government. He said incumbent government has installed power projects in Sahiwal and Port Qasim.

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