ISLAMABAD - With an additional subsidy of Rs 14 billion, Water and Power Secretary Nargis Sethi and her team are all set to implement the ambitious plan of bringing down loadshedding duration to half in the holy month of Ramazan, The Nation has learnt.

According to sources, Sethi managed to convince the government for the release of additional 14-billion-rupee subsidy along with Rs 22-24 billion routine monthly allocation that will be adjusted against the outstanding subsidy.

Sethi has also sought 114 mmcfd gas for the diesel-operated power generation plants from the government but no decision of gas allocation has been notified to the ministry so far.

Ministry officials say they will run these plants on diesel if gas is not allocated, however, they believe it would add up power generation cost.

The ministry on Sunday officially announced five-hour load shedding in urban areas and up to seven hours blackouts in rural areas, during the month of July.

Announcing the plan, the officials claimed that there would be no load shedding during the six hours of Sehr, Iftar and Tarveeh.

However, during the remaining 18 hours, electricity supply in urban areas would be curtailed up to five hours and in rural area up to seven hours load shedding is planned, to facilitate public during Ramadan, the officials said.

Sethi and her team believe that with additional funds, they would generate more electricity. Better generation from hydel, thermal power plants both oil and gas, new plants addition like Uch II and Guddu will result in reducing load shedding during Ramadan.

The officials are also working to enhance oil supplies and oil stocks are being stored at different points. Along with these stocks at various power plants, continued daily fuel supply has been planned to ensure smooth operation of the power plants during Ramadan.

Sethi has also directed Distribution Companies Chiefs to remain available at their officers at their headquarters during Sehar and Iftar, besides their daily routine times.

She has planned a daily Video Link conference with DISCO chiefs during sehar and iftar.

It was also learnt that each DISCOs and the Ministry have installed dedicated landline and mobile numbers at their respective control centers so that in case of any fault occurs it can be rectified on fast tract basis.

At the distribution level, down the line duties of the staff have been assigned, along with necessary equipment and their replacements, so that prompt action can be taken in case of technical faults.

According to NTDC data issued on Saturday, the shortfall of electricity was around 4000 MW.

Power generation from hydel was 5480, thermal 2050, and from IPPs generation remained at 6370 MW.

With a total electricity generation of 13900 MW, total demand was 17700 MW. If line losses up to 1200 MW are added the shortfall soars up to more than 5000 MW.

Up to ten-hour load shedding has been reported from different urban areas of the country while up to 14-hour blackout is normal in rural areas along with long spells of unannounced power disconnections.

Good luck seems to be with Sethi this month as the Met office has predicted widespread monsoon rains throughout the country.

According to Pakistan meteorological department advisory on Sunday, a monsoon trough is likely to establish over upper parts of the country during first three days of July. These strong monsoon currents are likely to penetrate in upper parts of the country from Monday night and will result in rain in different parts of the country.

If monsoon rains continue, according to the predictions, the demand of electricity would automatically reduce resulting in decrease in load shedding during Ramadan.