CJ grills WAPDA on slow recoveries from defaulters

Lahore High Court

LAHORE: On a request of the WAPDA counsel, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday deferred until January 16, 2013 the hearing of a petition against unscheduled load shedding.

The counsel during today’s hearing informed the CJ that 90 percent payment has been made to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) due to which load shedding had decreased.The chief justice remarked that the issue of load shedding had stemmed from the financial problems of the authority. He further remarked that instead of over-billing if it (WAPDA) had focused on recovery of payments from defaulters the issue could be resolved easily. Chief Justice Bandial also summoned the general manager of NPCC (national power control centre) to seek suggestions to control the unscheduled load shedding.

Judicial Activism Panel chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique moved the petition requesting that the power supply authorities should be directed to submit load shedding schedule of the presidency, Prime Minister’s House, chief ministers’ houses and other high officials before the court. He also requested to direct NEPRA, WAPD, PEPCO and LESCO to submit details disclosing about the electricity production sources through thermal, coal, gas, furnace oil, or solar.

He stated that in public interest and further sought production of financial statements showing profit and loss details as well as profit and loss account debit and credit entries and details of other expenses for disclosure to the public-at-large in view of Article 19-A of the Constitution. He also stated that the money being collected under the head of fuel adjustment and other surcharges was being paid to rental power projects, therefore, these surcharges could not be collectable from the citizens.

He stated that people of Pakistan were facing gas and as well as electricity crises but were forced to pay utility bills as demanded by Sui gas authorities and WAPDA including surcharges of all kind. He requested to end the unannounced electricity load shedding and to disclose the cost of electricity production and subsequent earning.In his reply, PEPCO counsel Khwaja Tariq Rahim had informed that the government was taking measures against electricity theft. He had also said that a payment of Rs 24 billion has been made to IPPs to lessen power outages. – Dailytimes