Govt committed to end load shedding by March 2018: NA told

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Wapda’s transmission & distribution system being improved: Abid Sher

ISLAMABAD, Nov 24 (APP): Minister of State for Water and Power State Abid Sher Ali on Thursday informed the National Assembly that the government is fully committed to end load shedding by March 2018.
Replying to questions during Question Hour, the minister said that 8,000MW to 10,000MW electricity would be added to the system, which would be sufficient to meet country’s needs.
“The government is working on generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to achieve zero load shedding and is spending billion of dollars for the up gradation of transmission system,” he added.
He said that during previous governments, there was 14 to 16 hours load shedding which had crippled the life of common man.
“The present government is committed to generate adequate electricity on affordable rates. All of the government’s policies, initiatives and developments are aimed at eliminating load shedding in order to facilitate a comfortable lifestyle for the people and uninterrupted progress of the industrial sector in the country,” he added.
The minister said that due to sincere and hectic efforts of the government, the generating capacity of electricity is continuously increasing and the duration of load shedding has also decreased gradually.
He said the industry is already exempted from load shedding whereas in the month of November 2016, the government has reduced its duration for domestic consumers by 50 percent.
Abid Sher Ali said that previous governments did not spend even a single penny on transmission system while the present government was not only constructing power plants but also improving the transmission lines across the country.
The minister requested the Sindh government to refund arrears as soon as possible and help the Ministry of Water and Power to control electricity theft in the province.
Abid Sher Ali proposed a committee of the National Assembly headed by Syed Naveed Qamar to clear all the outstanding issue with the Sindh Government.
Deputy Speaker National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi referred the matter to the government assurance committee and directed to submit report within 30 days.
The minister expressed hope that work on Munda Dam Project will be started by 2017 after the approval of Planning Commission and ‘Study Phase’ which comprises of detailed Engineering Design, preparation of Tender Documents and PC I.
The minister said that total cost of these projects is estimated as Rs. 1097.760 million, out of which 87 percent will be soft loan whereas remaining Rs. 138.706 million are being provided through PSDP.
Abid Sher Ali said that so far 79 percent of the detailed design study has been completed. For construction phase of the project, about Rs. 251.683 billion are required.
Answering another question, he said out of 37419 acres land required for the construction of the Diamar Bhasha Dam project and 28247 acres have been acquired.
He said the government is providing funds for land acquisition through PSDP, adding that installed capacity of Diamer Bhasha Dam will be 4500 MW and average annual generation of 19208 Gwh.
The minister said that at present there is no proposal under consideration for construction of Aladand Grid station. However,
electricity is being provided to village Aladand through 11 KV Aladand Feeder emanating from 132 KV Chakdara.
Abid Sher Ali said that 132 KV Grid Station Barikot is under construction and is expected to be completed by October, 2017.