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December 2, 2018

Minister warns power pilferers of strict action

Peshawar

December 2, 2018

PESHAWAR: Federal Minister for Water and Power Umar Ayub on Saturday said the government would take strict action against electricity thieves.

Speaking at a news conference here, he said the electricity theft has enhanced the loan up to Rs1300 billion, which was not a good omen for the country’s economy.

He said the monthly line losses of Pesco had reached up to Rs4 billion, including Rs3.7 billion from various regions of Bannu, Mardan and Peshawar.

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, provincial minister Shaukat Yousafzai and government officials were also present.

The minister said that electricity thieves and line losses were also affecting those consumers who regularly paid monthly bills.

He said the government had information that some employees within the department were hands in glove with the electricity thieves. The government would take disciplinary action against such employees, he added.

The minister said the government had registered 8000 FIRs against electricity stealers in Punjab and the distribution companies had also served charge-sheets to them.

He urged the people to remove illegal connections and ensure paying monthly bills to overcome loadshedding and line losses.

He maintained that the government would reduce duration of loadshedding in all those areas, where people would remove illegal connection and pay monthly bills.

Aerial Bundled Cables would be installed in 3000 kilometres area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which would end electricity stealing and kunda culture, he went on to add.

He said steps would be taken to improve electricity transmission lines and metering system, adding, electricity distribution system would be upgraded.

The minister said efforts were being made to pull Pesco out of the existing financial crisis. The government would take steps to address the complaints of the consumers, including overbilling, he added.

Earlier, the minister attended a high level.

The meeting focused on the infrastructure development, the under utilisation of the existing system, wheeling of electricity, nomination of board’s members through consultation with the provincial government and the six month widow available to the Pesco for the upgradation of system, the connectivity of already available electricity to the national grid, the overbilling, the shift in policy for the consumption of electricity produced in the local areas both for the domestic and industrial consumption locally and the project of waste to energy conversion.

Speaking on the occasion, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said that hydropower generation, which this province has in abundance, can become the engine for its economic revival and growth.

“The KP government is going all out to give relief to the people in all social sectors,” he added.

The meeting thoroughly discussed these issues and agreed to settle them both by energy and planning division at federal level.

FIRs lodged, arrests made on Kohat Road: Cases have been lodged and illegal power connections removed from a number of consumers during a crackdown on power thieves on Kohat Road, officials said.

According to officials of Pesco, a massive crackdown has been launched in diffident parts of the province against the power theft, especially kundas. On Saturday, several teams of Pesco conducted raids and removed illegal connections on Kohat Road.

“Direct connections were also removed during actions in areas on Kohat Road, Bara Road and University Road, and cases lodged against the power thieves in the police stations,” Executive Engr Pesco Arbab Farooq told reporters.

The official said that actions have been accelerated in the areas where there are more reports of power theft through direct connections and hooks.

A police official said that proper cases have been lodged at the Wapda House Police Station against the power thieves.

The federal and provincial governments have ordered special actions all over the country against the illegal power connections.

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