Load shedding: Balochistan reps decry govt apathy

Quetta: Elected public representatives of Balochistan have decried the apathy of federal government of Pakistan in solving the lingering electricity loading shedding crisis in Balochistan.

These remarks where made by Senator Kabir Muhammad Shahi, Sardar Kamal Khan Bangulzai Member of National Assembly and Nawab Muhammad Khan Shahwani, Provincial Minister for S&GAD in a press conference, on Monday.

All three public representatives, who belong to ruling National Party, were accompanied with Farmers of Mastung District in the press conference.

They lamented the apathy of NTDC in not repairing electricity towers which broke down on 27th June due to rainfall which has caused long hours load shedding in province.

“Electricity towers have not been repaired in 15 days and it proves the incompetence of NTDC and other organizations that are responsible for it,” said Sardar Bangulzai.

He further said that he along with other elected representatives have prevented the farmers from intensive protests but will not be able to control them if the problem is not resolved quickly.

Sardar Bangulzai, MNA from Kalat-Mastung constituency, lamented that transmission lines in Balochistan have capacity issues and repairing of the towers will also not make a major difference in electricity supply.

He explained that QESCO supplies 6 hours electricity to agriculture tube wells on daily basis but due to transmission capacity issues farmers can only use 3 hours of electricity on alternate days.

Senator Kabir Muhammad Shahi alleged that the federal government has done nothing for the farmers of the Balochistan.

He continued that farmers of Balochistan bore loss of billions of rupees due to incompetence of NTDC.

Senator Kabir, who claimed to raise the issue of Electricity Load Shedding in Senate of Pakistan several times, claimed that 6 hours supply of electricity to farmers daily will not solve the problem.

He suggested that Federal government can shift all the 32,000 tube wells in Balochistan on Solar Energy at a cost of Rs. 67 billion. “This would save Rs. 22 billion annually in subsidy and 400-500 Megawatts of electricity for National grid,” said Senator Kabir.

He further added that Federal government claims that Farmers of Balochistan owe Rs. 120 billion in bills but we contest this absurd claim.

Senator Kabir blasted WAPDA for discriminating Balochistan in tariff rate. “WAPDA uses the same Tariff for Balochistan and Punjab despite the fact that Tube Wells in Balochistan require more powerful motors to extract water from deeper lengths,” he alleged.

In reply to a question of journalist, Senator Kabir said that Iran is ready to supply electricity to Balochistan but federal government is reluctant to receive it on pretext of sanctions imposed on Iran.

All the three public representatives said in the end that no one could prevent the famers from massive protests if the issue of electricity supply is not resolved soon.

Adnan Aamir is Editor of Balochistan Voices; Balochistan’s premier English-Language online newspaper. He is also a freelance journalist contributing for national newspapers. He can be reached at Adnan.Aamir@Live.com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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