ISLAMABAD(Online)-Minister for Water and Power Raja Parvez Ashraf has said that electricity generated through fuel is very expensive and hike in international oil prices will further raise the import bill, which will be detrimental for the countrys economy. Briefing the Senate Standing Committees on Water and Power here on Monday, the Minister said that electricity pilferage and not paying out govts outstanding amounts has ingrained in the society. He, however, said that such persons have been identified and soon an operation will be launched against them. He said the ministry is considering issuing smart cards on the pattern of Europe for payment of electricity bills and sale of units. The development budget was slashed due to the expenses incurred in the war against terrorism, which greatly affected the energy sector, he added. He said that the govt had chalked out energy conservation plan after hectic efforts and now responsibility rests with the people to cooperate with the govt in steering the country out of electricity crisis. He informed the committee that projects of generating electricity through coal would take at least five years in commissioning. However, the govt is taking concrete measures to enhance electricity generation. Managing Director PEPCO Tahir Basharat Cheema informed the committee about governments energy conservation plan and said that forwarding clocks by one hour could conserve 250 MW of electricity. Due to less rains and premature advent of summer increased the power shortfall to 5000 MW, which could not be more than 3000 MW. He said that early closure of shops would help save 500 MW of electricity while two weekly holidays will help save 500 MW of electricity will be conserved The Managing Director informed the committee that 10 new IPPs would become operational by next year, which will generate 2067 MW of electricity. He said two IPPs would be operational by April 30th, for which high power transmission lines are to be installed. Chairman WAPDA Shakil Durrani said that the land matter has been resolved for the construction of Diamir Basha dam and land would be acquired by May. An agreement has been signed with the Islamic Bank for the construction of Golan Gol Dam in Chitral. However, the Chinese government is not permitting its engineers to work in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. He said that Kurram Tangi dam should have been completed by 2006 but due to controversy over land, work on the project has not been started. On this committee asked WAPDA to file an application in the Supreme Court for the resolution of controversy. The Chairman WAPDA informed the committee that the authority has been entrusted to construct 32 small dams, however, no amount has been released during the current financial year for the construction of dams. He said energy projects are facing delay due to release of only Rs 10 billion out of Rs 37 billion allocated for the WAPDA budget.