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Mukhtar hints at separate police stations to check power theft

Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar on Saturday hinted at setting up separate police stations to implement and expedite the process of punishment to those stealing electricity.

He was talking to mediapersons after chairing a maiden meeting of the National Finance Commission’s Committee on Energy, formed by the prime minister last week here at the Wapda House.

Chief secretaries of all the four provinces, federal Secretary Water and Power Zaffar Mahmood and other officers concerned attended the meeting, while Energy Management Cell (EMC) Chairman Tahir Basharat Cheema briefed the meeting about the power situation in the country. The meeting also discussed measures for recovery of electricity dues and payment of circular debt to power producing companies.

Mukhtar said the government was focusing on changing the strategy for power generation, citing that China and India were generating an adequate quantum of electricity through coal resources while Pakistan was utilizing only 0.46 percent of its vital coal resources for power generation. “We are striving for optimum utilization and promotion of hydel and coal resources that ensure inexpensive energy generation as compared to thermal, furnace oil and it will help provide relief to consumers,” he maintained.

To a question, he said the power shortfall shot up suddenly a few days back due to a dust-storm that severely damaged transmission lines in district Muzaffargarh, Punjab. Hhowever, Wapda and NTDC field staff repaired them in the shortest possible time and now the power situation was normal with the usual shortfall.

He said the government was making all out efforts to resolve electricity crisis.

The minister also dispelled the impression about increased loadshedding in Punjab and said that load management was being made in a fair manner. He said the top priority of the government was to balance electricity demand and supply as early as possible for which a number of initiatives were being taken to ensure maximum relief to all consumers.

To another query, Mukhtar said that under energy conservation initiatives, the government would distribute 30 million energy savers free among consumers within two to four months.

The NFC Committee on Energy will hold its next meeting in Islamabad on August 17, 2012, he told the media.

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