LHC seeks ‘reasons’ for unscheduled power outages by May 8

LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Friday directed the Water and Power Ministry and other respondents to place before the court reasons for carrying out unscheduled power outages and adjourned a petition against prolonged yet unscheduled outages until May 8.
The petitioner, through his counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique, submitted that the country’s installed generation capacity was 22,000 MW of electricity but 9,000 to 11,000 MW of electricity was being produced due to non-payment of circular debt of about Rs 200 billion to independent power producers (IPPs). 
He said that the government and other institutions had to pay over Rs 450 billions to distribution companies (DISCOs) but that the burden of non-payment of arrears by government organisations was being passed on to ordinary consumers.
He said that 12 to 16 hours a day outages in big cities and up to 18 hours were being carried out in rural areas because of which the masses were suffering a lot. The suffering was also causing psychological problems, as people remain tense and uncomfortable for long intervals of time due to absence of electricity. 
He said that the public at large was facing the consequences of government’s failure in constructing large dams and water reservoirs.
He also requested the court to implement the Supreme Court’s December 10, 2013, verdict on unprecedented power outages and other ancillary issues.

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