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Federal government to fund solarization of agricultural tube wells in Balochistan: Minister

ISLAMABAD, May 24 (APP):Minister for Energy, Awais Ahmad Leghari on Friday reiterated the federal government’s commitment to fund the solarization of agricultural tube wells in Balochistan.
In response to a calling attention notice regarding the limited electricity supply to agricultural tube wells by the Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO), which provides only three hours of electricity per day, he said that once the Balochistan government formulated a mechanism for the distribution of funds to consumers, the federal government would be implementing the solarization initiative.
He highlighted that approximately 12,000 illegal transformers were operating on 404 feeders in Balochistan, with 96 percent of these feeders running at a loss.
There was an outstanding amount of over Rs 640 billion owed by various entities, including agricultural tube wells, in the province, he added.
The minister called on Senators and Members of the National Assembly to assist in combating power theft.
 He assured strict action against officials involved in overbilling and guiding consumers how to steal electricity.
The minister acknowledged that distribution companies were not managed professionally in the past and admitted that their officers were involved in illegally  activities.
He explained that Balochistan incurred a loss of Rs 80 billion due to the provision of six hours of electricity.
The minister mentioned a positive meeting with the Chief Minister of Balochistan, who assured cooperation with law enforcement agencies to remove illegal transformers across the province.
Quoting the example of the Mardan feeder, Leghari noted that after the implementation of law enforcement measures, there was a 24-hour electricity supply.
He stressed that due to electricity theft and lack of enforcement, even his own tribal area received only two hours of electricity, and he did not use his ministerial position to ensure a 24-hour supply to these areas.
The minister reaffirmed the government’s dedication to addressing these issues and improving the electricity supply for agricultural purposes in Balochistan.

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