ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Water and Power is determined to continue suspending electricity supply in Hyderabad area unless the defaulters pay 50 per cent of their electricity dues, The Nation learnt here on Friday.
According to officials, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali during a recent visit to Hyderabad Electric Supply Company had ordered disconnection of electricity to defaulters and ordered long-hour loadshedding in defaulters' areas. There were 21,900 domestic defaulters, with arrears of 13 billion rupees, five thousand commercial and industrial defaulters with arrears of 1.5 billion rupees in Hyderabad power company area.
Receivables from the provincial government were found Rs 26.5 billion while the federal government organisations are to pay Rs 1.4 billion. It was learnt that Hyderabad Development Authority is to pay Rs 7 billion to HESCO.
During the visit, the minister was told that 200 users are domestic defaulters of over Rs 1,000 each.
The minister ordered to disconnect those domestic connections and also suspended electric supply to WASA, Sindh Public Engineering, TMA Jamshoro, TMA Mirpurkhas, Sindh Irrigation Department, Sindh Police Department Hyderabad, TMA Kotri, TMA Sehwan Sharif, TMA Latif Abad, and TMA Dadu.
He also ordered to suspend electricity supply to WASA Colony that, according to the officials, was not paying any electricity bill.
The minister ordered 10-hour loadshedding in the area with 50 percent line losses, 18-hour loadshedding for area with 60-80 per cent line losses and 20-hour loadshedding for areas above 80 percent line losses in the jurisdiction of Hyderabad Power Supply Company.
The minister has been vocal about illegal connections and sometimes he called opponent politicians "Electricity Thieves".
It was learnt that his advisors have advised Ali that he should take a soft stance and use diplomatic language as his statements are neither helping in recoveries nor are serving any political purpose but creating enmity.
It was learnt that despite protests from locals the ministry is determined not to restore power supply to defaulters until they pay back half of their outstanding amount.
According to officials, the minister had written a letter to MQM leader Farooq Sattar that one of his party's MNAs, Wasim Shah, was having an illegal power connection and he retaliated when the official staff tried to remove the illegal connection. In the letter, he requested to eliminate illegal connections from the premises of Shah and others if any to support his department in controlling the power loadshedding. It was learnt that no answer of this letter has been received yet.