Jatoi says no to WAPDA loadshedding schedule
* Power outages continue despite orders
* New plan at today’s meeting
PESHAWAR: Liaquat Ali Jatoi, federal minister for water and power, on Thursday directed the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) not to announce a loadshedding schedule without the ministry’s approval and the current loadshedding schedule issued on Wednesday stood null and void, APP reported.
The minister told reporters that he had called a WAPDA meeting in Lahore today (Friday) and a loadshedding plan would be chalked out after the meeting. He said the prime minister had recently convened a meeting of all provinces where a water distribution formula was evolved with consensus. He said that a decision on big dams would be made after consulting provinces.
Mr Jatoi said consumers whose electricity had been disconnected due to non-payment could get their connections after paying 50 percent of total arrears and there would be no re-connection fee. He gave one month to defaulters to clear their dues or arrears would be recovered as revenue arrears after the deadline expired. “WAPDA cannot afford to leave Rs 7 billion in arrears”. Mr Jatoi gave two months to WAPDA to cut line losses by 10 percent. He said that strict action would be taken against superintending engineers failing to meet the target which might result in suspension from office.
He directed the authorities to be stern while dealing with power theft and illegal power connections. He said WAPDA officials involved in excessive billing would also be taken to task, as would be officials responsible for late billing. He said that power transformers would not be removed from the area where WAPDA was suffering losses because of non-payment.
Loadshedding continues: Government sources told Daily Times that although the water and power minister directed WAPDA to cancel loadshedding, unannounced loadshedding continued on Thursday as hydroelectric generation was reduced from 11,304 MW to 10,541 MW, Khawaja Naseer adds.
Sources said that serious differences emerged between Mr Jatoi and WAPDA as the authority’s member power had to cancel his press conference on Thursday on the minister’s orders because he was annoyed with WAPDA for not informing him about the loadshedding plan. Sources said that according to WAPDA’s plan, loadshedding would continue till October 10. WAPDA has planned to produce 250 MW electricity by deploying more thermal units from Gaddu Barrage, Jamshoro Powerhouse , Hub Power Company and Kot Addu Power Company to the system. The remaining 500 MW shortage will continue which will hit agricultural and small industrial consumers.
Sources said Mr Jatoi’s determination to counter the electricity theft might not improve the situation as WAPDA faced 25.7 percent line losses which could not be covered immediately.