Authorities wake up to loadshedding?

Water and Power Secretary Sikandar Ahmed Rai and Wapda Chairman Raghib Abbas Shah Friday visited Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco), Jamshoro Thermal Power Station and Lakhra Power Station as part of drive to overcome power problems.

Presiding over a meeting of the senior officers at Hesco Headquarters, the Federal Secretary emphasized the need to bring about a tangible improvement in performance of the company vis-à-vis customer services, recovery of electricity bills, line losses and power theft. With a view to tackle the financial woes of the power sector, he said, the outstanding arrears in public sector be reconciled in the shortest possible time and their recovery be vigorously pursued. He further said that recovery from the private sector consumers be also improved with the support of local and provincial administration.

Wapda Chairman said that the role of power distribution companies is of immense importance to make the power sector viable. The companies, particularly the loss-ridden ones including Hesco, must make concerted efforts to achieve their targets to increase recoveries, lower line losses and curb electricity theft. He also stressed upon the improved customer services, adding that relief in loadshedding be ensured through effective load management.

The Secretary and Wapda Chairman also visited Lakhra Power Station: the only utility-size indigenous coal-fired power station in the country. Expressing annoyance on the closure of the power station, they ordered the Genco-IV acting Chief Executive Officer to immediately make the power station operational, so that the much needed low-cost electricity generation through coal could be added to the National Grid. The Authorities concerned were also directed to prepare rehabilitation programme of all three units through original equipment manufacturers urgently, so that by the end of this year it could generate electricity to its optimal capacity of 150 MW, which was reduced to 35 MW only. It is pertinent to mention that once the rehabilitation is completed, the electricity generated by Lakhra Power Station will be the cheapest in the county after hydel electricity. Furthermore, Wapda Chairman Syed Raghib Abbas Shah Friday inaugurated state-of-the-art WAPDA Hospital Hyderabad. The new purpose-built building of the 50-bed hospital has been constructed with an amount of Rs.270m.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, the Chairman said that the vibrant organisations are judged by the level of welfare activities carried out by them for their employees. He said that WAPDA is committed to providing the basic amenities of health and education, as it accords highest priority to the well being of its employees.