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November 24, 2017

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No power loadshedding from today, claims PM

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has declared that there will be no power loadshedding from today onwards. "Loadshedding has ended a week before the deadline of November 2017," the PM told The News on Thursday.
He has been vocal in vowing an end to loadshedding till the revised deadline of November 2017, both as petroleum, natural resources minister and the prime minister since August this year. Other ministers have also shown the same conviction from time to time.
Earlier, former PM Nawaz Sharif, ex-minister for water and power Khwaja Asif and finance minister Ishaq Dar had expressed government’s commitment to end electricity loadshedding by Dec 2017. Addressing an investment conference, the ex-PM had set the deadline for ending loadshedding at Dec 2017 in 2015.
However, PM Abbasicautioned that outages could still be observed due to local issues in distribution of electricity. The power loadshedding started in 2007 during Pervez Musharraf rule and reached uncontrollable proportions during the Pakistan People’s Party government from 2008 to 2013. Both the governments failed to envision magnitude of the energy problems and their effective solution. Some observers believe that both Musharraf and Zardari had to go largely due to their failure to resolve energy crisis.
According to a senior official of Power Division, Ministry of Energy, Pakistan has presently surplus in demand and supply of electricity. The present average daily load stands at 12,000MW against dependable and relatively cheap power generation of 14,000MW. Hence, he added, the country has 2,000MW of surplus energy in the national grid.
Senior official, however, made it clear that augmentation of transmission and distribution network has yet to complete. On other hand, shutdowns by Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) are on the rise on account of system rehabilitation and augmentation. On Nov 23, there were close to 300 planned shutdowns of over eight hours daily

for carrying out various development works on power distribution network. The frequency of these long shutdowns has been far greater than the normal system upgradation by the power utility. In fact, a Lesco official admitted that only about 100 approved shutdowns were being observed daily a month back to carry out such augmentation works.

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