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Energy crisis:‘Govt has a strategy to overcome power shortage’

The government is working on war footing to bridge the gap between demand and supply of electricity,” State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said on Saturday.

He was addressing a gathering of parliamentarians, industrialists, traders and Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) officers.

The minister said that the government had chalked out a comprehensive strategy to overcome the shortage of electricity.

“Short-, medium- and long-term projects have been identified. These included Nandipur, Satpara, Dasu, Gomal Zam Dam and Diamir Dam.”

Ali said the country would be on the road to progress if uninterrupted electricity supply to the industrial sector could be managed.

He said the government was providing a Rs365 billion subsidy to the power sector. The cost of Neelam Jhelum Project had increased 10 times. “We could generate 775 Megawatt from Guddu Power Project within two months but there is no transmission line to connect it with the national grid,” he said.

The minister said the campaign against power theft had been launched across the country. He called electricity theft a crime against the nation. He said that the government was encouraging the use of energy savers.

He said the ministry had proposed deduction of electricity charges from the provincial governments NFC allocations.

The businessmen told the minister that Faisalabad was facing more load shedding than other parts of the country. The minister constituted a high level committee including local parliamentarians to propose a solution.

The committee will propose an alternative schedule of load management within one week. The PEPCO managing director will supervise the committee.

Ali also said supply of gas be ensured for steam power stations and ordered that FESCO’s quota of electricity be increased.

FESCO Chief Executive Officer Rana Abdul Jabbar Khan told the minister that a recent meeting of the ECNEC had approved the construction of two new grid stations in FESCO region and upgrade of four grid stations from 66 to 132KV in Faisalabad and Mianwali. He said four transmission lines had also been approved by the ECNEC.

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