Islamabad/LAHORE – With the electricity shortfall reaching 7,000MW and uproar over the prolonged power outages growing among masses across the country, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in an emergency meeting, has warned top officials of the Ministry of Power to reduce the power loadshedding to two hours a day or face job dismissal.
The PM took this tough stance after rejecting their explanations on failing to bring the situation about electricity management under control.
The meeting was convened to deliberate on the reasons behind the power outages across the country and measures to overcome the problem. Concerned ministers and top officials of the power division attended the huddle.
The power officials earned the prime minister’s anger when they told him that only two hours of loadshedding was being observed in the country.
“Over 10 hours of loadshedding is being carried out on a daily basis across the country. I am not ready to trust in your lie,” replied the prime minister.
“Loadshedding for more than two hours is not acceptable. Do whatever,” PM Shehbaz directed the officials’ point of view.
Rejecting the explanations, the prime minister directed the ministers and officials to get the people rid of the trouble.
“Out of the question. Not acceptable. I don’t want any explanation. People want to get rid of load-shedding and I will not compromise on public issues,” the premier was quoted as saying in response to the explanations given by the officials.
The prime minister directed Finance Minister Miftah Ismail to utilise all the resources to end load-shedding from the country at all costs.
| PM warns power ministry’s top officials to reduce loadshedding to two hours a day or face dismissal from job | Directs to create a balance of electricity distribution between domestic and industrial sectors
Shehbaz says PTI govt miserably failed to complete any project in Gwadar
Due to the difference in supply and demand, unannounced load-shedding of eight hours is being carried out in different parts of the country. Moreover, in areas with line losses are found to be high, the duration of load-shedding has reached 12 hours.
PM Shehbaz tasked a committee comprising Minister for Energy, Petroleum, and Finance to present an actionable plan. He also pledged that effective implementation of the plan to gradually reduce load-shedding would be ensured. He directed the concerned Ministers to develop a balance between domestic and industrial consumption. He directed that the plan should ensure a visible decrease in electricity loadshedding for the people of Pakistan.
According to the Power Division sources, the demand in the country for electricity surged to 27,200 megawatts amid the sweltering weather conditions. The duration of unannounced loadshedding nationwide also increased to 12 hours.
“There is a nationwide power production of 20,000MW, resulting in a shortfall of 7200 MW,” they added.
Currently, the country is obtaining 4,635 megawatts of electricity from hydropower, 1,060 megawatts from thermal power plants and 9,677 from the IPPs, the well-placed sources said.
It is learnt that three major power companies have shut down 16 power plants in Pakistan due to non-supply of fuel.
The Hub Power Company (HUBCO), Lalpir Power Limited and PakGen Power have shut down 16 power plants – including Tarbela and Jamshoro – due to mismanagement in the supply of furnace oil.
The LESCO is also facing a shortfall of 1200 MW after its demand peaked at 5200MW as compared to a power supply of 4000MW. Lahore is facing power outages between six to eight hours.
In a related development, Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) has recommended the government to close markets and malls at sundown to curb energy crisis in the country.
According to details, LESCO has recommended the government to close markets early to save energy and curb the ongoing energy crisis in the country. The closure of markets at sundown would enable the company to provide more electricity for domestic use, LESCO said.
It is to be noted that the energy shortfall in the country has exceeded 7000MW which has resulted in unannounced load-shedding of 8 to 12 hours in urban and rural areas of the country.
The load-shedding has caused great disruption to business in the urban centres of the country multiplying the public miseries.
In a series of tweets, the PM said that despite wasting billions of rupees and precious time, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government could not complete any project for resolution of water and electricity issues for the locals who gave great sacrifices for Gwadar Port.
He referred to his previous day visit to Gwadar and said that he was convinced more than ever before that development of Pakistan was linked with peace, stability and progress of Balochistan.
He said the coalition government, aimed at assisting Balochistan by working with the provincial government and local elders, was working to chart the way forward.
The prime minister, during his visit to the area, also issued a number of directions for completion of different projects.
“During my visit to Gwadar, I witnessed how PTI government miserably failed the people of Gwadar. Despite wasting billions of rupees and precious time, it could not complete any project for resolution of water and electricity issues for the locals who gave great sacrifices for Gwadar port,” the prime minister posted in a tweet.
“The same holds true for Gwadar Seaport and construction of Gwadar airport. No dredging was carried out at seaport and thus no large cargo ship can be anchored. Have ordered quick completion of Gwadar University, airport and installation of desalination plant for clean drinking water,” he said in another tweet.
“I am convinced more than ever before that development of Pakistan is linked with peace, stability & progress of Balochistan. The coalition govt aims to assist Balochistan by working with the provincial govt & local elders to chart the way forward,” the prime minister posted in a related tweet.