Minister announces suspension of power supply for 7 KP dists

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PESHAWAR: State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali on Tuesday announced that power supply to 13 feeders of seven different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has been suspended due to theft and non-payment of dues. 
Addressing a press conference here, Ali said electricity supply to Shangla, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Peshawar, DI Khan, Karak and Tank was disconnected due to massive power theft and non-payment of electricity bills worth millions. 
He elaborated that the federation was handing over the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, but it backed out. He alleged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ministers of safeguarding power pilferers, saying whenever officials of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) took an action against the culprits, they were being tortured and victimised.
The minister added that by disconnecting power supply to areas with the highest rate of power pilferage, the government saved Rs1.3 billion. He said that from June this year, 2000MW would be added to the national system, whereas some 260MW was being produced by a power project in Jamshoro, Sindh, and 747MW of power was being generated by the Guddu power plant. 
Speaking about the construction of Kalabagh Dam, Abid Ali said that unless the provinces did not agree, the federal government was not going to even talk about the project. 
The minister said the PESCO intended to completely close down six feeders in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa owing to huge line losses. He said the feeders to be shut down were facing 80 to 100 percent losses. The minister mentioned that out of 1,252 consumers of 11-KV Warsak feeder in Peshawar, nobody was paying power bills, while the PESCO had to receive Rs172 million outstanding dues from them.
Similarly, in new Mattanai area located on the outskirts of Peshawar, he said, 81 consumers, out of a total of 2,038 were paying bills, while the rest of the consumers were involved in power pilferage. The PESCO had to get Rs310 million from this area.
In Norang area of Bannu district, as many as 4,386 people were consuming electricity, but only 263 were paying bills. A sum of Rs343 million was outstanding in the area, he added.
In Karak district, 437 people were paying electricity bills out of 4,774 consumers who were having Rs462 billion outstanding dues under the head of electricity bills. The minister said it was very shocking that as many as 12,906 consumers in Basham, Tank, Kolachi, Domail, Tajazai areas were consuming electricity, but only 919 people were paying bills.
The minister said the public representatives should have to cooperate with the PESCO in recovery of bills instead of threatening and insulting its officials.
In Punjab, 83,000 people were apprehended on power pilferage charge, To a the minister said to a question, adding that recovery was also being made. He said 600 transformers had been removed in Sukkur area in Sindh, where line losses were increasing with each passing day.
Abid Ali said Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif had extended Rs 4 billion for PESCO to improve electricity supply and to change the outdated transmission lines. He said the PESCO had attained achievements on 80 feeders in Khyber Pakhtukhwa while 30 feeders were facing huge losses. Efforts were underway to improve electricity supply in the province, he added.
Responding to another question, the state minister said the PESCO was planning to outsource some feeders, where line losses were higher. He said efforts were also underway to add 1500MW to 2000MW to the national grid by June this year, adding that a project to generate 260MW electricity through coal in Jamshoro area was in process, while 260MW Guddu project would be completed before June. He further said three wind mill projects of 150MW would also be completed soon that would help reduce electricity charges and loadshedding. The minister said the government was planning to reactivate rental power projects and get 300MW electricity from those on the charges of Rs16 per unit.

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