ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf informed the upper House here on Friday that to enhance electricity generation and for promotion of agriculture 32 Dams would be constructed in four provinces of the country and load shedding has been concluded for the industrial sector across the country.
Responding to a point of order in Senate here on Friday, he informed the House that the government has been initiating different measures to keep check on ‘electricity theft’ and for this purpose legislation was being made against the elements involved with electricity theft.
He also said that during last two months 122 cases were filed against industrialists involved in electricity theft adding that in accordance of new laws—electricity thieves would not be allowed to install new meters with any name as in the past electricity meters were being restored after deposition of bills and fined amount.
Federal minister also clarified that ministry of water and power didn’t take any dictation from IMF to conclude subsidy on electricity rates and restructuring decision of WAPDA was according to the policy of the incumbent Government and tasks have been formulated for the power companies working in the country to improve their performance, Raja Pervez Ashraf maintained.
The minister also pointed that mechanism to install electricity meters is being practiced according to rules and regulations as electricity meters are provided to the applicants within 90 days adding that the government has ended load shedding for the industrial sector and mechanism was also being worked upon to ensure 12 hours electricity for the agriculture sector.
He said that agriculture has been the backbone of the national economy and the government making strategies to provide subsidy on electricity rates for the agriculture sector.
Federal Minister also said that construction on Mirani Dam has been in the final stages and it would be very beneficial for the people of Balochistan and the government has already paid out Rs156 million to the Balochistan government as cost of the dam and compensation to the affectees of the dam would be the responsibility of the provincial government.
He also pointed that owing to prevailing floods across the country no doubt ministry of water and power has to face severe economic challenges but the ministry has arranged funds for construction of Diamir Basha Dam and foreign donors companies were also assisting the government over this project.
The government has evolved a project to construct 32 dams across the country to cater electricity and agriculture needs, however it could be too difficult to initiate construction on all the projects at a time, therefore the government has started work to construct one dam in each province simultaneously, minister said.
Federal minister for water and power also acknowledged the fact that the people across the country were facing electricity outages as amid electricity short fall, numbers of power houses has also been damaged in prevailing flash floods and work has also been in the process to provide transmission line to Balochistan.
He also informed the house that Indian constructed dams on Indus River, Jhelum and Chenab adding floods devastations in Pakistan. NEPRA used to fix electricity rates in the country and then electricity companies install their power generation plants and in the prevailing circumstances when the world has been facing economic crunch—investment in power sector of the country has also been very short.
The minister informed the house during last nine years no plant was installed in the country to generate even a single additional unit of electricity, however the incumbent government by accepting the challenge has initiated work to establish new dams.
He also said that in 2008-9 approximately 9,480 cases of electricity theft were filed under which 268 persons were apprehended, while during the year 2009-10 23695 cases of electricity theft were filed and 193 electricity thieves were arrested.
The minister also said that construction cost of Mirani Dam has been Rs 5,811 million, while reconstruction estimation of Subakzai dam has been Rs 1,960 million adding that Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) has been working under minister for water and power in the private sector for electricity generation.
To generate 5,681MW through oil, gas and coal 26 thermal power plants are being established out of which 1460MW electricity projects has started electricity generation and further 11 projects of 1931MW would start work soon till the end of this year and projects to generate 2289MW would be completed till 2015. Online