ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Water and Power is all set to bring down loadshedding up to 4 hours a day in urban areas during the month of Ramazan, The Nation has learnt.
It was learnt that during a recent meeting with PM Nawaz Sharif, top officials Ministry of Water and Power and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources finalised this plan.
The PM directed to generate electricity up to 80 percent of installed capacity to cope with the loadshedding during Ramazan.
The PM was told that the transmission system of the country was not able to withstand more power generation and if it is overloaded it may collapse.
The PM was apprised that due to industry closure in Ramazan, more electricity would be available and without doing extra efforts the loadshedding would be minimised automatically.
It was learnt that ministry of petroleum suggested that gas supply to industry could also be curtailed, if required, as during Ramazan. This gas could be diverted for the power generation. It was also learnt that in order to implement the PM orders, the Ministry of Water and Power has directed IPPs to generate more electricity during next month.
Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have recently in what seemed to be a media campaign had made a hue and cry over the pending receivables from the government. According to an IPP representative, they have to receive Rs. 300 billion from the government.
The IPPs recently threatened that if their dues were not paid they might not be able to generate electricity in coming days.
When this scribe asked an official of the ministry about the IPPs demand, he said that it was just a pressure tactic.
“If IPPs payments are delayed they charge huge mark-ups, actually delayed payments suit them,” he said.
He was hopeful that IPPs would cooperate and generate more electricity during the holy month.
Apart from policy level decisions, Secretary Nargis Sethi, who is considered a defecto boss of the ministry these days, is busy widening the billing network. According to the sources, uptil now she has been focusing on service delivery and bringing line losses of the Discos to a minimum level.
It was learnt that during daily Video Conferences, Disco chiefs present their daily productivity report to her.
Sethi has directed all the Discos to change the faulty meters so that the losses could be minimised.
In this regard, Disco has been reporting 1400-1500 meter changes daily along with details of issuance of new meters. Discos are also working on repairing or changing faulty grid and transformers.
In this regard, IESCO on Wednesday completed installation of 66kv transformer at Danda Shah Bilawal. IESCO is in the process of installing new transformers. In this regard, a transformer of 60 Kv is under installation at Timman Near Chakwal, 132 KV at Badshahan, and 132 KV at Fateh Jang.
IESCO official Farooq Ahmad claims that the installation of new transformers would be completed before Ramazan. He said due to double capacity voltage drop issue in the area would also be resolved.
Critics have been raising serious objections on the government over the failure of controlling the load shedding in the country. In rural areas up to 14 hours of black-outs are reported, whereas in many areas including Rawalpindi and Islamabad citizens came out to roads and expressed their anger by burning tyres and damaging electricity supply company’s properties.
The IPPs have been generating more than 7000 MW during recent days but average 8-10 hours loadshedding was observed in urban areas, whereas up to 14 hours in rural areas.