ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Water and Power Chaudhary Abid Sher Ali on Friday informed the National Assembly that additional 1500 megawatts electricity would be added to the national grid system in May.
Replying to various questions during Question Hour, the minister said that the government has launched many power generation projects and the menace of power load-shedding would be completely coped by 2017.
He said that additional load-shedding was carried out due to dipping of hydel generation in last 15-20 days. However, he said that the situation has significantly improved after April 21 as Indus River System Authority (IRSA) started releasing of more water from reservoirs.
He said that currently 6-7 hours and 9-10 hours load-management was being observed in urban and rural areas respectively.
However, the minister said that 14 hour load-shedding was also being carried out in areas of more losses and power theft.
He said that punitive actions were initiated against 300-400 DISCOs employees on various charges of corruption and power pilferage. However, some on them obtained stay orders from courts, he said.
The minister said that smart meters were being installed besides up-gradation of transmission lines to curb power theft and reduce line losses.
He said 80 per cent losses were reported in around 260 feeders in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
To a question, the minister said that the government had deposited Rs 540 million in provincial government kitty to acquire land for Chakdra grid station. However, despite lapse of one and half years, the land was not acquired for the grid station.
To another question, Abid Sher said that WAPDA/PEPCO employees were neither exempted from the payment of electricity bills nor provided electricity free of cost, but as a part of the perquisite of employment, restricted up to a certain fixed number of units whose cost was borne by concerned departments.
To another question, the minister said that the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved revised PC-1 of acquisition of land and resettlement of Diamer-Basha Dam project amounting to Rs 101.37 billion.
He said that PC-1 for evacuation of power from Neelum Jhelum, Karot and Azad Pattan Hydro power projects has also been approved by ECNEC at the cost of Rs.21.667 million.
To a question, the minister said that IPPs KAPCO, Rousch and Fauji Kabirwala would utilize LNG but the cost of LNG has not yet been decided by NEPRA.