SC orders equal power supply from Khyber to Karachi

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) and National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) to ensure equal distribution of electricity among domestic and commercial consumers.


The apex court also directed Pepco and NTDC to make sure that the timing of loadshedding should be equal without any discrimination among big and small cities from Khyber to Karachi.These directions were issued by a three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ijaz Afzal Chaudhry and Justice Gulzar Ahmed, which resumed hearing of a suo moto notice regarding prolonged and unannounced loadshedding.


The bench asked the Pepco managing director, who is also holding the additional charge of NTDC MD, to present a detailed report on loadshedding within 24 hours after a joint meeting of all the stakeholders, including distribution companies, Wapda and Pepco.


During the course of proceedings, the chief justice observed that masses are in a wretched condition while the industry is being shut down. No one, including the president, prime minister and chief justice, should be blue-eyed for the power authorities. Electricity is present in the country but the people are worried due to the unfair distribution system. “Seventy percent electricity is available with you and you can reduce loadshedding but you don’t do so. How can the 30 percent shortfall be filled?” the CJ asked.


Justice Gulzar said that issues cannot be brushed aside by portraying the matters as technical. Loadshedding has to be overpowered. “It is your responsibility to provide equal electricity to everyone,” he added.


The chief justice questioned the Pepco MD why they were not providing equal electricity. “Are the people mad that they have come to the streets? Who will stop the unannounced power outages? If you are not able to do so, then go home so that some competent officer could come,” he added.


Justice Iftikhar said that children were dying. “How many issues can be addressed through temporary system. All humans are equal whether he is the chief justice or a common man. Give us a complete chart why the power outages are not being stopped. We are tired of passing orders on daily basis. Even if the electricity generation capacity remains at 50 percent, there cannot be 18-hour-long outages.”


Pepco MD Zargham Ishaq Khan presented a chart of electricity generation, consumption and shortfall. He stated that all the companies were issued directions as per the orders of the apex court regarding indiscriminate loadshedding in all areas of the country.


The chief justice remarked that Pepco was solely responsible for excessive loadshedding and inquired about the maximum production of all the power plants. Zargham stated that the maximum power production could be upto 17,000 megawatts.


The bench questioned that during the last hearing, the MD had apprised the court that the maximum power generation could be 21,000 to 22,000MW.Zargham replied that 21,000MW was the production written on the machines which were now outdated or could not reach their maximum level.


The chief justice remarked that in the past, there was only one distribution company that was Wapda and the circumstances were not so bad, while now there were about eight distribution companies and the situation was beyond control.


The Pepco MD stated that out of the eight companies, three were not functioning well, including Hubco, Narowal and Liberty, due to which the crisis continued.


Later, the court directed the Pepco MD to hold meetings with all the power companies regarding their output and power generation and come out with an authentic reply.The court adjourned further hearing till June 10.

Courtesy:  The News

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