LAHORE - The Water and Power ministry yesterday claimed the energy deficit was just 3,324MW and the power distribution companies were conducting six and eight hours’ loadshedding in urban and rural areas of the country, respectively.

The ministry made this claim in a statement, following some media reports that the electricity shortfall had crossed 6,000MW.

National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited (NTDCL) used to share power position with media on daily basis, but the practice was abandoned following the PML-N government in the Centre. The ministry , through National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited, an entity responsible for power distribution to the Discos, stated the hydel component shared 5,073MW, thermal 9,803MW and wind 186MW with the energy basket making total contribution of 14,876MW. It projected demand of 10 power distribution companies as 18,200MW, stating the shortfall was just 3,324MW.

But the official sources said the situation was completely different and shortfall was more than 6,000MW. They said the Discos conducted eight to 10 hours load shedding in urban areas and around 12 hours in rural limits.

The claim of the ministry could not be qualified when it was matched even with the loadshedding at Lesco feeders. A Lesco source said the company was receiving around 2,700MW against the present demand of 3,700MW hence the shortfall was touching 1,000MW.

Insiders said the shortfall at any of the four Discos of Punjab, Iesco, Gepco, Fesco and Mepco, was not less than 1,000MW. The situation was not different at the other five Discos of Sindh, KPK, Fata and Balochistan – Hesco (in Hyderabad), Sepco (in Sukkur), Pesco (in Peshawar), Tesco (in Tribal areas) and Qesco (in Quetta).

“We can cautiously say the power shortfall was between 6,500MW t0 7,000MW,” said an official source. “Yes, the loadshedding is six to eight hours at the feeders where the line losses are minimum, but the Discos are conducting even 12-hour loadshedding at the feeders where losses are high,” he added.

The water and power ministry had announced a policy to conduct more loadshedding where theft and line losses are high. According to a policy, a consumer who pays his bills timely and is not involved in any kind of wrongdoing has to pay for the offence committed by those involved in the theft.

Meanwhile, the ministry claimed it was constantly monitoring the power position in the country. “No unannounced loadshedding is being observed in the country. Normal predictable load management of six hours in urban, eight hours in rural areas and zero loadshedding for industries is being carried out by the Discos. The areas with higher losses and theft are having higher load management hours according to the percentage of the losses.

Peak generation in the month of May in 2013 was 12,671MW, in 2014 13,217MW and in 2015 was 14,121MW. On 20th May, 2016, it reached 16,044 MW, the highest ever for this month. The power sector is also striving to meet the challenges of the unprecedented heat wave.

The ministry has appealed to the consumers to register their local complaints with their complaint centres concerned mentioned on their monthly bills. In case of any difficulty faced by the consumers, complaints can also be registered at federal level with the ministry of Water and Power complaint cell on telephone Nos 051-9204430, 051-9103888 and 051-9206834. Online complaints can be registered at www.mowp.gov.pk.

The ministry has also urged the consumers to adopt energy conservation measures and avoid wastage of electricity to help provide electricity to the consumers as per the schedule.