Punjab follows suit

Syed Naveed Qamar

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar faced a tough time on Tuesday while explaining measures for implementing uniform load management plan throughout the country to the Punjab government, which said that it would be implementing closure of commercial centers at 8 pm and observing of five working days a week only after notification by the Sindh government.

An official source said that a delegation of Punjab government held talks with the Ministry of Water and Power to review the progress of implementation on the energy conference. He said the representatives of the Punjab province expressed concerns over the non implementation of the uniform load shedding which was affecting economic activity in the province. After listening to their complaints, the minister directed the concerned officials to ensure uniform load management in the country, particularly for industrial sector. He assured that the load shedding would be carried out as per schedule and if there was necessity for forced outages it would be only in the residential areas.

Punjab government demanded limiting the electricity supply to Karachi Electricity Supply Company to the bare minimum to meet the requirements of the province. They were informed that under agreement with KESC it was being supplied 650 MW. However it was pointed out that the utility was getting more supply than the agreement which the officials said was necessitated sometimes due to system problems. The minister directed the officials to ensure to retain it to the agreement level. The minister asked the provincial government to implement the recommendations of the energy conference like early closure of markets and five days working week, which the provincial government representatives said would be implemented only after Sindh notifies them.

The source said that last time Sindh government did not implement the decision which put a pressure on the Punjab government from the business community. A statement issued by the ministry said that as per decision, maximum relief is being passed on to the industrial dedicated feeders which are being provided with un-interrupted supply. He directed there should be no forced load shedding for industrial sector and the schedule should be announced in consultation with chambers and traders organizations. He said that all the efforts are being made to enhance the power generation from the existing power plants. He informed that 400 MW has been added in the system after getting on additional gas of 76 MMCFD.

The meeting was briefed on the current demand supply situation, reasons for dropping power generation in the last couple of days and measures to increase the generation within the next few days. The representatives of Punjab government gave a briefing on the current load shedding in the province and expressed their point of view. The meeting also discussed implementation on other decisions of energy conference like closure of commercial centers at 8 pm, observing of five working days in the office and new office timings in winter and summer. – PT