Report on power sector flawed: Wapda officials

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ISLAMABAD – Top officials of WAPDA have rejected the Planning Commission’s pessimistic report on power sector and declared the report flawed as it does not cover many very important aspects of power industry and also said that there might be vested interests of some people behind spreading such baseless projection. An official even said that he could never expect that such ‘non-professional’ people were sitting in Planning Commission. He said, while estimating future power situation of the country, they have neglected many things those should not have been done by a professional team. Apparently such a report shows that it has been released on purpose. At this point they want to win the heart of some very powerful quarters, he said.

The report that projects that Pakistan can not get rid of menace of loadshedding till 2019 is just based on supply side and normal demand of electricity but it is not the end of power sector issues. If professionals just believe that solution of loadshedding lies in equalising supply and demand of electricity then they should leave this very important analysis work to someone who knows the power sector better.

The report does not touch the demand side measure that is a must to be taken and the present government no doubt has not done anything in that regard as it could not implement the energy conservation measures suggested by WAPDA.

“Who says we don’t have electricity, we have enough electricity but we did not manage it and we did not stop its stealing because the law enforcers and decision makers were appointed on political grounds and their only work was to please their master”, an official said.

Sources said that the professionals giving presentation should have discussed that there was a need to reduce demand of electricity in the country by hitting on its non-productive use. Energy conservation and energy efficiency are 2 basic elements missing in Planning Commission’s analysis of the future of power situation in the country.

A good planning requires demand side measures that was totally missing in the report and those measures if the new government adopts them would help it to control the menace of loadshedding just in 1 year though some deficiency will remain but not the one that Planning Commission has projected, the official said.

Had the professionals knew that even super power United States of America could not fulfil its energy demands by just equalising supply and demand, they could never had made such projection. USA has established department to keep 24 hours watch that how many bulbs have been changed into energy savers because without decreasing unnecessary use of electricity and use of new technology, no country can survive under the present situation of increasing fuel prices internationally, the official said. Planning Commission experts also did not touch the more than 19 per cent line losses and energy theft issues in the country, which if addressed properly, can reduce demand of electricity by at least 1500MW. A stealer never bothers how many appliances are turned on in his premises because he has not to pay the bill and this is what is happening in the country.

A top official and also an expert on power sector said that when in 1999 Musharaf started operation against power thieves by using army, almost 1000MW demand of electricity was reduced as the thieves got frightened and they stopped stealing for the time but again it has increased many times in the country as everyone believes that there is no one to stop them.

It is pertinent to mention here that the government could not reduce line losses in whole 5 years and the WAPDA officials held responsible the people those were appointed due to their political attachments in different distribution companies and they did nothing to decrease losses of the company.

The official said that it all depends on the next government’s sincerity towards power sector. Provided the new rulers would be serious enough to solve the problems, people will see change within very short period of time.


Courtesy: The Nation

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