Sindh, KP lead in power losses, NA told

ISLAMABAD: The shortage of electricity is one issue, but statistics placed before the National Assembly revealed on Monday that a significant amount of electricity produced through multiple means didn`t reach end-users.

A written reply to a query informed the house that line losses continued throughout the country. Sindh was the biggest contributor with 37.6 per cent losses.

In reply to a question by Ms Tahira Auranzeb of PML-N, the National Assembly was informed by Power Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf that during 2010-2011, Sindh and Khyber Pakthunkhwa had recorded 37.6 and 35.3 per cent line losses respectively.

Punjab was the best province during the period with 14.1 per cent line losses. Balochistan also did well with 18 per cent losses.

Although the question was meant to be taken up for oral response by the power minister, because of opposition parties` protest against recent price hike of petroleum products, National Assembly`s Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi suspended routine proceedings and questions were taken as read.

Mr Ashraf said that system and line losses occurred because of several reasons; energy losses because of power flow in the system and administrative losses caused by illegal power connections.

He said that to address these issues, the government, with the financial assistance of the Asian Development Bank, was trying to improve transmission and distribution lines, grid stations and power transformers. About the problem of electricity theft, the power minister said that the government had launched a nationwide campaign to detect cases of electricity pilferage.

According to the power ministry estimates, Wapda companies are losing more than Rs125 billion every year on account of system losses. This does not include KESC figures.

In reply to a question by Ms Shireen Arshad Khan of PML-N, the minister said that since Jan 2010, the government had registered 24,590 cases of power theft.

Moreover, he added, the government had announced incentives to regularise Kunda connections.

The minister said that Wapda had detected over 1.47 million unpaid bills worth Rs9.037 billion, of which the ministry had so far recovered Rs1.8 billion.

About the power ship which arrived in Karachi in November, the minister, in reply to a question by Mohammad Afzal Khokhar, said that the date of its inauguration had not yet been intimated by the rental power company concerned.

An internal testing of the power plant equipment was currently under way and partial generation would start soon, Mr Ashraf said – Dawn