ISLAMABAD - Angered over the absence of both minister and secretary of water and power ministry in a meeting of the relevant senate standing committee, the senate body has decided to write a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The meeting was chaired Senator Zahid Khan on Monday at the Parliament House. Senator Shahi Syed, Afrasiab Khattak, Kamil Ali Agha, Khalida Pareveen, Abbas Afridi, Wapda cahirman, Nepra vice chairman and officials of water and power ministry, NTDC, Lakhra Coal Power Project attended the meeting.

Following the absence of high-ups and government gurus, the Senate body decided to write a letter to the Premier against what the senators termed 'irresponsible attitude' of both power minister and secretary water as well as National Transmission Dispatch Company (NTDC) chairman as they all were not present in the meeting.

The Senate body took significant decisions ostensibly to help resolve the ongoing energy crisis of the country. The committee decided to file a reference in the Supreme Court against a company currently working at Lakhra Caol Power Project. The company is busy in the extraction and sale of coal from 8,500 acres.

Moreover, the senate body instructed Wapda to take charge of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) and immediately give promotions to officials of grade 18 to 20. While seeking report against the director finance of NTDC who has secured many years extensions on job, the committee has categorically instructed to remove the director.

The senate body also recommended strict action against undue long five years delay in the construction of 220kv power grid stations of Mallakand, besides directing for the up gradation of distribution and transmission system of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Senator Zahid said that Wapda, power distributing companies (DISCOs), NTDC and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) have completely failed to supply low cost power to the masses. He said that hefty amounts were being lavished on unfeasible and ghost projects that was not unacceptable. Power prices are not the same in all provinces of the country, he further noted.

Nepra Chairman Khawaja Muhammad Naeem told the meeting that to generate 2,140mw, tariff of 14 power companies was determined. Besides Star Group, three other power companies are working on a 150mw power project in Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK). Though Silky Kinari firm after eight years has once again requested to get the contract, the company has sought high tariff, he added.

Wapda chairman informed the meeting that power is being sold out to the NTDC at Rs1.39/mw and NTDC sells the power at Rs10/mw. He also told that 6,000mw of electricity was being produced while Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) has so far not signed a single contract even no memorandum of understanding (MoU) with any country including India.

Senator Kamil Ali Agha told the meeting that Sheikhupura paperboard industry has been badly ruined because of severe power loadshedding. He said that change of faulty or burnt power transformers in Lahore is only possible by giving bribe to the Lesco officials.