LAHORE – Flawed policies of the successive governments have led to the serious electricity shortage crisis and its high price hike. The workers and engineers have been demanding the DISCOs, GENCOs and NTDC may be placed under WAPDA in order to maintain check and balance and unity of command.

Former member (Power) WAPDA Tanzeem Hussain Naqvi, WAPDA Hydro Electric Central Labour Union General Secretary Khurshid Ahmad Power Engineers’ Association General Secretary Ramzan Butt and other representatives expressed these views at a press conference here on Monday.

“We fully share the concern and sufferings of the people meted out by heavy load shedding and day to day price hike,” they said, adding it was result of the structural flaws of policy makers.

Every government instead of building hydel and coal fired thermal power stations, tried to establish high cost RPPs and IPPs which were eating 87 per cent revenue of electricity and providing only 38 per cent electricity, they regretted. The present government, they added, instead of reforming the structural flaws is pursuing the privatization policy of the national utility which would further aggravate the power crisis, they held. Since the privatization of KESC had been miserably failed to deliver, how it would bring remove the peoples’ problems now, they questioned.

According to them, the proposed privatization would give rise inter-provincial disputes on power tariff issue. “Government is also resorting privatization of management of nine thermal power stations despite the fact the engineers and workers with technical assistance have already been able to up-grade turbines of Muzaffargarh Power House and three turbines of Guddu Power House.”

This was the age of specialization, but the government was resorting to recruit new hands from the market, regretted Mr Khurished.

On the continuous protests of WAPDA engineers and workers against the proposed privatization, President Asif Ali Zardari had assured that the privatization would not be taken, said the union leader. But now the government was not looking serious to not follow the privatization policy, therefore “we strongly urge the President and the Prime Minister to intervene and get honoured his public announcement.”

Otherwise, they held, the workers and engineers would continue to make concerted struggle against the ‘anti-people movement of the government.’ They appealed the public to join hand with the workers against the government proposed move for privatization.