ISLAMABAD: The PPP government massively ‘electrified’ the new villages merely for political gains despite the worst-ever loadshedding during the over four years of its tenure.
As many as 7,245 new villages has been given electricity connections since 2008 which is almost double of the corresponding four years, reveal official documents available with ‘The News.’
The statistics are initially compiled by the power distribution companies (Discos) and finally by Water and Power Ministry in form of a summary presented before the Senate’s Functional Committee on Less Developed Areas.
The government neither brought under consideration the existing power shortfall nor the increasing demand of the installations already connected with the national grid.
While furnishing the latest report also covering fiscal 2011-12, the officials said the new villages, which are given new connections, are as dark as before their so-called electrification with no power available for their utilisation.
The PPP, intentionally ignoring power unavailability, stepped up enormous electrification at its very early months in the rule as it connected 1,886 villages with national transmission in 2008-09, the first year of its tenure.
With reduced electricity in 2009-10, the government did not refrain from providing more new connections but even sped up the pace while electrifying 2,070 villages, even more than previous (2008-09) year.
Setting aside the factors such as further reduced power generation, piling up circular debt and increased requirements in the third year of its governance, the PPP provided connections to 1,313 another villages but without paying any heed to increasing electricity generation.
Ironically, it did not stop the electrification for a temporary period or for a certain time period to first make arrangements to increase the power availability while importing it, building new hydropower projects or installing thermal stations.
It made available fresh connections to 1,975 more villages in the year ended on June 30, 2012, causing overall loadshedding to half a day to 20 hours.
The PPP is still ‘determined” to go ahead with its projects as there are 700 more pending villages where its members have announced that the power would be supplied during the government’s last year, the election year.
The PML-Q government, under Musahrraf dispensation, had connected to new villages with the national grid but with highly slow pace when the loadshedding was comparatively less than what the country has been experiencing since 2008.
According to same report, 625, 919, 762, 510, 828 and 1,008 villages were electrified in the period between 2002 and 2008 on yearly basis during the Musharraf’s PML-Q-led government.