No end to power woes in sight as shortfall exceeds 7000MW

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No end to power woes in sight as shortfall exceeds 7000MW

ISLAMABAD - There seems to be no end to the misery of the masses with regards to power loadshedding as shortfall exceeded 7000MW after two major power plants faced closure over different reasons on Sunday.

Although in evening hours at the weekend people did witness pleasant weather after a weeklong spell of scorching heat made more intense by power cuts of up to 20 hours.

Even in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, there was severe loadshedding of up to 16 hours on Sunday. The situation was not different in Peshawar, Karachi and other parts of the country.

After Guddu power plant developed a technical fault, its power generating units faced a shutdown and supply of electricity remained suspended in many parts of Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan.

According to an official of WAPDA, power supply remained suspended in 21 districts of Balochistan alone. Due to plant shutdown, power supply remained suspended in Rajanpur area of Punjab; Jaccobabad, Kashmore, Shikarpur, Kandhkot, Sukkur in Sindh; and Quetta, Mastung, Kalat, Naushki, Khuzdar, Chaman, Qilla Abdullah, Qilla Saifullah, Ziarat, Pishin, Loralai, Jafarabad, Jhal Magsi, Bolan, Naseerabad, Awaran, Sibi, Dalbidin and Chagai in Balochistan.

Nevertheless, in a late night development, five out oa total of 13 power generating units of the plant were made functional after removing technical fault.

Similarly, Uch Power Plant has also been lying dysfunctional for the last day for want of gas supply.

A senior official of Ministry of Water and Power said Punjab was consuming around 68 per cent of total power generation and at the moment total power generation stood at 9,000MW against a demand of over 16,000MW. He said this showed that the country was facing a shortfall of more than 7,000 MW.

The major reason behind power crisis is non-payment of dues to Pakistan State Oil that is the main furnace oil supplier to power plants. However, the caretaker government is unable to clear the dues of PSO in the shape of circular debt that is being described as the root cause of many ills. The total circular debt stood around Rs500billion and according to some media reports, the government in waiting is contemplating to clear the circular debt in one go, to ease the shortfall. But it is not clear who will bell the cat and at what time?

Another reason behind power shortfall is non-recovery of electricity bills to the tune of billions. The last regimes handed over this task to National Accountability Bureau, but it failed and made a plea that WAPDA had given it a number of fictitious bills that were non-recoverable.

Courtesy: Nation

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