ISLAMABAD (APP) - The acute power crisis has compelled the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) to resort to eight to 12 hours loadshedding in urban and rural areas.

A senior PEPCO official told APP on Sunday that annual canals closure for desilting, shortage of gas and furnace oil supply to power plants have significantly reduced generation capacity.

He said that the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) has reduced discharge of water from Tarbela and Mangla dams resulting decline in hydel power generation. Only 1,100 MW hydel electricity is being generated from their power houses, he said.

Meanwhile, IRSA chairman Syed Mazhar Ali Shah told APP that canals have been closed under annual desiliting programme and will be opened till January 30, 2012.

He said that water discharge from Tarbela and Mangla dams have also been reduced and as on Sunday only 24,000 cusecs and 10,000 cusecs water respectively was released.

Mazhar Ali said that water indent is being gradually reduced and will be brought down to 10,000 to 15,000 cusecs water. He said that 80 per cent less water will be discharged due to annul canal closure, which will affect hydel power generation.

Replying to a question regarding water theft from Tarbela Dam, he said that no water had been stolen rather the WAPDA had discharged more water for generating hydel power.

According to data, water inflow and outflow in Tarbela Dam was recorded as 18,700 cusecs and 24,000 cusecs respectively on Sunday.

Similarly, water inflow and outflow in Mangla Dam was 7,337 and 10,000 cusecs respectively.