PML-N govt fulfilled promise as electricity generation reaches surplus: Leghari

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmed Leghari on Sunday said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had fulfilled the promise which it had made to the public four and a half years ago of producing surplus electricity.

The overall electricity generation at present had gone up to 16,477 megawatt, which was about 2,700-megawatts more than the demand, he said while addressing a press conference here.

He said that when the PML-N came to power in 2013, the country was producing only 9,279-megawatt electricity against the demand of 11,800-megawatt, facing an average shortfall of 2,500-megawatt and almost eight to ten hours load-shedding. He added that most of the feeders across the country would be turned to zero load-shedding from December 4.

“There will be no load-shedding at 5,297 feeders out of 8,600. Earlier, the number of feeders where zero load-shedding was observed was only 326,” Leghari said.

He said that a total of 15 million meter owners would benefit from zero load-shedding and there would be no discrimination among the provinces or urban or rural areas on that count. The feeders with below 10 per cent power theft would benefit from the zero load-shedding while other feeders would be subjected to load-shedding in accordance with the rules made to check power theft, he added.

The minister said that only two-hour load-shedding would be observed at feeders with 10-20 per cent power theft. The feeders with over 80 per cent theft would be subjected to 16 to 20 hours load-shedding, he added.

Giving break-up, Leghari said that earlier, there were just 58 feeders on zero load-shedding with LESCO which would now be enhanced up to 102. Similarly, the zero load-shedding feeders in FESCO would increase to 896 from 20, in IESCO to 710 from 72, in MEPCO to 763 from 54, in Peshawar to 309 from 60, in Hyderabad to 204 from 10, in Sukkur to 24 from 18, in KESCO to 61 from 12 and in tribal areas to 29 from zero.

The minister further stated that with the passage of time, other feeders would also be shifted to zero load-shedding in accordance with the policy.

He also congratulated the nation on behalf of PML-N for the achievement of producing more electricity than demand. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had made untiring efforts to achieve the objective, he said and added that load-shedding would continue in the areas where there is over 80 per cent power thefts.

Leghari further said that after completion of ongoing power plants, there would be up to 25,000-megawatt online capacity which will allow meeting peak demand in summer.

The minister further stated that the ministry was focusing to enhance the performance of all the DISCOS and expressed the hope that there would be a revolutionary change in power distribution during next couple of months. He added that a law was being made to overcome the issues of over-billing.

“After the passage of that particular law by the Senate, the persons involved in over-billing would be punished in accordance with law,” he said and added, “There had also been a law to check power theft, however, there were problems in its implementation.”

The ministry, with provincial governments, was taking measures to overcome the issue, he said. He added that currently, only 2,400-megawatt electricity was being produced through furnace oil run plants and within next two years, the production through the use of the particular fuel would be reduced.