LAHORE-Minister of State for Water and Power, Abid Sher Ali , on Tuesday said that PML-N government was taking all possible steps to increase electricity generation and an additional 4,000MW of electricity would be added in the system by next year.

He said that audit firms were working on the issue of over-billing of electricity and their final report would be presented before the federal cabinet. He suspended an X-En, four SDOs and a Meter Inspector, while ordered arrest of another SDO and registering an FIR against him.

The State Minister issued these directive during a four-hour long sitting (Open Kachehry) to listen to the grievances of the electricity consumers fall in the limit of Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) here at LESCO Officer Club, Multan Road.

During the sitting, the power consumers brought forth highest number of complaints regarding over-billing, non-replacement of defective meters and subsequent insertion of average units, which did not match with the consumers’ use of electricity or their billing history. They complained to the minister that concerned LESCO officers/official made them rolling stone instead of giving a serious hearing to their narrations and rectifying their problems. Abid Sher Ali gave a very patient hearing to the complaints of hundreds of consumers, who rushed to the venue to get a sigh of relief from the Minister.

Taking prompt action on the complaints of the consumers, the State Minister suspended the X-En (Allama Iqbal Town Lahore) Chaudhry Manzoor, SDO (Awan Town Lahore) Abdullah Shabbir, SDO (Jiya Musa Lahore) Ehsanullah Farooqi, SDO (Nawan Kot Lahore) Asif Haroon, SDO (Niaz Nagar of Kasur district) Imtiaz Noor and a Meter Inspector of Dholanwal, Lahore.       The Minister also ordered arrest of SDO (Pattoki) Muhammad Amjad and registering a case against him. He also issued warnings to various LESCO officers including SDO (Band Road Lahore) and SDO (Liberty Market Lahore) Naeem Qasim.

The State Minister also directed the officers concerned to hold open Kachehry in their area of jurisdiction after Jumma (Friday) Prayer, besides ensuring their presence in their respective offices from 9:00am to 11:00am to listen to the consumers’ grievances. Later talking to media, the State Minister said that provision of maximum relief to power consumers was top priority of the PML-N government.

He said that he was holding open Kachehry in the domain of all the DISCOs (power distribution companies) on the directive of the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to ensure maximum relief to the power consumers in real sense.

To another question, Abid Sher Ali said that out-dated transmission lines were being replaced with new ones to minimize line losses, while the government was also focused on replacing defective power meters throughout Pakistan. He said that he would hold such sittings for power consumers in Peshawar, Sukkur and Multan.

The LESCO Chief Exective Officer Rao Zamiruddin and other top management of the Company were also present at the open Kachehry