ISLAMABAD - A parliamentary committee yesterday showed its serious concern over the extended loadshedding in different parts of the country during Ramazan, and directed the Ministry of Water and Power to improve the performance of DISCOs and take viable measures to increase the electricity generation.

The committee also directed the ministry not to punish the bill payers and law abiding consumers for the wrong doings of the non-payers and electricity thieves.

The meeting of Senate Standing Committee held here with Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan Nasar in chair took strong notice of the unprecedented loadshedding in different parts of the country during the holy month of Ramazan.

The special session of the Committee was convened to discuss loadshedding in different parts of the country, particularly in HESCO, SEPCO, FESCO and PESCO regions. The committee also discussed the distribution and transmission of electricity.

Senator Ahmad Hassan said that the justification given by the government, that the areas with electricity theft are facing extended loadshedding, is unacceptable. “How can you punish the law abiding consumers for the crime committed by others,” he questioned.

“If you want to punish the real culprits then make separate feeders for the electricity thieves and other consumers,” he proposed.

Majority of electricity theft is taking place with the connivance of DISCOs employees but there is no punishment for them.

Secretary Water and Power Yunsu Daga informed the committee that currently there is 5000 to 6000 MW deficit in the system but even then there is no loadshedding in Sehri and Iftar timings.

The electricity availability situation is getting better, he said.

The General Manager National Power Control Center (NPCC) informed that instead of early 13 to 14 hours loadshedding only 6 and 8 hours loadshedding is taking place in the urban and rural areas respectively. He said that for the first time the electricity generation has reached 17349 MW which will further improve after the commissioning of new big power plants in 2017-18.

The Chairman of the Committee observed that unprecedented loadshedding has added to the hardships of the people and the Committee has received complaints from different parts of the country in this regard. He said that the Committee would help the authorities concerned in formulating viable policies to overcome energy crisis and provide relief to the common man.

The masses are suffering because of the extended loadshedding and the government should remove their grievances, Sardar Yaqoob said.

The meeting also discussed the distribution formula under which KP share of 13 percent in electricity is being determined.

Senator Nauman Wazir said that small power plant units of 2700 MW are closed and there is no clue whether there is fault in it or they are willingly closed down.

Nauman Wazir also demanded enquiry into the matter of burned generators worth billion of rupees. He demanded that the details about the power generation and distribution should be presented to the committee. Nauman Wazir alleged that KP is not being allowed to consume its allocated share of the electricity and the electricity is being diverted to the Punjab based discos.

However, General Manager NPCC Ilyas said that in KP there is only 10 percent forced loadshedding as major share of forced loadshedding is being shifted to the five DISCOs of Punjab.

The Chief PESCO informed that there is zero loadshedding on 362 feeders of Pesco.

But senators disputed the claim saying that Swabi is in zero loadshedding area but is facing 12 to 18 hours loadshedding.

Similarly, the recovery in Buner is about 97 percent but it is still facing 14 to 18 hours loadshedding, senator Nisar Muhammad Khan claimed. He said that the government needs to take measures to mitigate the loadshedding.

Senator Yusuf Talpur said that despite 90 percent recovery in Umar Kot, Sindh, people are facing up to 18 hours power outage.

He said that electricity system in the country has collapsed as nobody is ready to listen or redress the grievances.

Regarding low voltage, senator Nauman said that the frequency of voltage, of the DISCOs, is less than 49.5 percent which is illegal. He said that the NPCC data regarding power generation is not based on software but instead it is based on presumptions.

The secretary water and power replied that the frequency of voltage is being reduced to save the system and the duration of such reduction is small.

In a sharp contrast to the secretary’s, majority of DISCOs consumers are complaining about the electricity voltage which stays low during the entire summer.

Senator Daud Khan Achakzai said that no fund has been allocated for the replacement of outdated transmission line in Baluchistan. He proposed that instead of providing subsidy to the tube wells the government needs to convert it to solar.