MUZAFFARGARH: Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has urged the PML-N leaders to avoid political point-scoring on the issue of loadshedding and advised them to help strengthen the federation.
Addressing a press conference, along with Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar at the Muzaffargarh Thermal Power Station, he said that last Friday a cyclone-type windstorm damaged around 19 steel structure transmission towers of Wapda here that led to termination of 1,800MW of power from the national grid.
However, the Punjab CM tried to score political points on this unprecedented natural disaster that had damaged four main transmission lines, including one 500KV line and three 220KV lines.
Kaira praised the Wapda engineers, who rushed to the desert-like site from all over the country and managed to restore supply of 1,100 megawatts.Another 350MW of supply would be restored by Monday evening and the rest of the 350MW by Tuesday evening, he added.
Referring to the statement of Shahbaz Sharif, he said all the provinces are part of Pakistan and the government believes in equitable distribution of electricity on the basis of needs in accordance with the population and industry.
He said the government was the custodian of all the provinces and it was this government that had introduced 18th Amendment that acknowledged the right of provinces over their resources. Kaira said the Punjab was utilising over 60 percent of the electricity and majority portion of gas production.
He said daily life with loadshedding in Ramazan was difficult amid extreme hot weather conditions but appealed to the people to remain calm and avoid violence, adding that the government was putting its all energies and resources to bridge the electricity-shortfall problem.
On the occasion, Ahmad Mukhtar said the government was focusing on electricity generation through wood and coal. He added that coal-generated electricity had a share of only 0.36 percent in Pakistan compared to 46 percent in India and 65 percent in China. The minister said the government was also committed to eliminating the power theft.
Kaira said that the government’s commitment to provide electricity to the people at cheaper cost was evident from its efforts to explore alternate means of power generation. When asked about coal-gasification project in Thar, he said two fields with potential 50MW capacity had been allocated on a trial basis in Thar, where engineers and researchers, led by Dr Samar Mubarakmand, were trying to employ a new technology to gasify coal and the government was providing funds for the purpose.