Power outages to continue on Eidul Azha, says Dastgir

Minister says Nawaz govt initiated 11600MW power projects

LAHORE    –   Federal Power Minister Khurram Dastgir on Sunday announced that people will continue to witness power outages on the occasion of Eidul Azha but the areas where people pay their electricity bills regularly will get ‘major relief’.

Addressing a press conference at Gepco (Gujranwala Electric Power Company) office, the minister said that those areas where people don’t pay their electricity bills, — be it in rural or urban areas — will face ‘power outages’.

He said that power projects commissioned in recent past had been initiated by previous Nawaz Sharif-led government, which had started work on new power generation projects with accumulative capacity of 11,600 mega watts. He said that 720-megawatt Karot power plant had started power generation since June 29. He said that water inflow in Tarbela Dam had increased significantly over the last three days, which resulted in an additional 600MW of electricity. In next few days, the Tarbela Power Plant will be operating at 3400MW capacity.

To a question about loadshedding on Eid days, he said that there would be a considerable relief in power supply to domestic consumers owing to closure of industry during Eidul Azha days.

During the PTI tenure, he mentioned, power projects of 5800MW could not generate electricity due to negligence of the previous government which did not purchase fuel for these power plants, which led to power crisis and the people had to face long hours of power outages.

To a query, the minister said that huge quantum of electricity could be generated through Thar coal deposits, asserting that 1214MW Thar Coal Power Plant will be the biggest coal power plant of Pakistan. The new power generation projects being initiated by the incumbent government will operate on domestic fuel instead of imported fuel.

Dastagir said that a comprehensive strategy was being devised to switch the domestic power consumers over to solar energy, while all public buildings and infrastructures are being switched over to solar energy in phased manner and a number of steps were being taken in this regard. To a question, he said that there was less loadshedding on feeders where bill recovery rate was high, while feeders with high power theft ratio are put on load-shedding for long time. The consumers using up to 300 units per months are being charged the bill with low rates.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz directed the authorities concerned to take immediate steps for making the closed power plants functional to address the ongoing energy crisis in the country. The prime minister also sought a report entailing clear reasons of the loadshedding in the country.

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