PA body to take up energy crisis with president, PM

PESHAWAR: The lawmakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly lashed out at Wapda and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited for frequent power and gas loadshedding and set up a committee to discuss the aggravating energy crisis in the province with the president and prime minister.Speaker Khushdil Khan, who presided over proceedings on Monday, on the recommendation of the legislators announced formation of 10-member committee comprising treasury and opposition benches to take up the issue with the chief executive of the country.“Under Article 158 of the Constitution the province in which a wellhead of natural gas is situated shall have precedence over other parts of Pakistan,” Mr Khan observed, saying that recently Peshawar High Court had directed SNGPL to fulfil requirements of the province.He said that the apex court decision was not being followed and people had been facing severe shortage of gas.The treasury and opposition benches came down heavily on Wapda and SNGPL for prolonged power and gas outages in rural and urban areas of the province.

Earlier, debate on gas and electricity shortage in the province and sketchy remarks of PML-N parliamentary leader Pir Sabir Shah caused uproar in the house.Mr Shah`s blunt statement against PPP and federal government infuriated PPP parliamentary leader Abdul Akbar Khan and lawmakers of ANP. Cross talks between the lawmakers marred the proceedings.Mr Shah blamed central government for prevailing energy crisis in the country particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that despite huge deposits of coal and water resources federal government had opted for expensive rental power projects.“If government can`t start work on Kala Bagh Dam, then it should go for non-controversial projects like Basha, Munda dams or generate power from coal,” he said. He said that Kala Bagh Dam had been politicised for vested interests.Abdul Akbar blamed PML-N for power crises, unemployment and other issues. He said that Sabir Shah had served as chief executive of the province but he had done nothing in power sector.Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain also criticised Sabir Shah for mentioning Kala Bagh. He said that ANP would never change its stance on the Kala Bagh Dam and termed it a “recipe for disaster of the province.” He said that Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had already rejected the project.

Speaker Khushdil also reprimand Sabir Shah for creating disturbance in the house. “First you come late then create problems,” he told him.The issue of the loadshedding was raised by Atifur Rehman of ANP, who said that unscheduled power loadshedding was creating law and order situation in the province and termed a conspiracy against the provincial government.Malik Mohammad Qasim of JUI-F said that the loadshedding might trigger protests across the province. He suggested calling chief executive of Pesco to the house to discuss the situation. He said that several people had been killed due to gas and power related incidents.Minister for Environment Wajid Ali Khan said that Wapda and SNGPL were doing injustice with the people of the province. He said that though pipeline had been laid in Swat, yet massive loadshedding was observed in supply of gas to the district.Saqibullah Khan Chamkani said that electricity remained suspended for four to five days consecutively. He requested the members of the parliament for raising the matter on the floors of both Senate and National Assembly – Dawn