Islamabad - Senate Standing Committee on Power Thursday recommended to the government to abstain from installing new transformers or poles in any part of the country till July 25 general elections. 

Politicians in some constituencies are roaming with transformers in their vehicles while other have stored it in their Dairas(Guest Houses) and this trend need to be stopped, the Senate Standing Committee on Power observed this during a meeting held in Islamabad. The committee that met in the chair of Senator Fida Muhammad also warned that if the transformers laying in the Dairas (Guest Houses) of politicians were not removed they are going to hand over the case to FIA. The Committee recommended to the Ministry of Power to take strong action against installation of any new transformers or towers in any part of the country before the general elections.

The Committee was told by the Ministry that the ECP has already issued directives to the ministries of stopping any and all development work before July 25 and assured that a follow-up meeting with CEOs of DISCOs will also be held in this regard.

Additional Secretary Ministry of Power informed that they are changing only the defective transformers and no new transformer is being installed. The committee was also informed that they are considering the transfer posting of SDOs and Xian so they will not influence the political process.

The Committee while discussing the matters of K-Electric asked the ministry of power to submit a copy of the agreement of supply of 650MW to K-Electric from the national grid in the next meeting. Senator Nauman Wazir enquired that who permitted the provision of 650MW electricity to K-Electric. The Committee sought details as to why the supply is continuing despite the expiry of contract in 2015. The meeting also showed anger over the absence of the CEO K Electric and said that the Chairman Senate is also searching for the CEO but he is behaving like Pharaoh and not ready to meet him. The committee has asked the officials of the K-electric that do not come to attend the next meeting without their CEO.

The officials of the K Electric informed that from 2009 to 2017 the company has invested $1.7 billion in the power generation. The official further informed that due to ABC cables the number of illegal connections (Kunda) has been reduced. The peak demand of the company is 3518MW while the supply is 3000 MW, the officials informed. Around 63 per cent of the K-electric area is load-shedding-free. 

The Committee took strong notice of low maintenance and up-gradation of machinery at Lakhra Power Plant that has a capacity of generating 150MW but due to low grade coal boilers and non-maturing of cases of procurement the only unit out of three that is working is facing problem.

The committee was briefed about Lakhra power plant and it was informed that on the merit order Lakhra coal power plant is on number 72. The CEO of the plant informed that in case of running the plant it incurred Rs400 million loss annually and when shutdown the losses are double in the same period. Senator Mula Bakhsh Chandio said that all this is being done for selling the plant.

The committee expressed anger over the absence of the Energy Minister and Secretary Power Division. The additional secretary informed the committee that the secretary was in the court therefore didn’t come for the meeting.

The Committee decided to take this matter in detail in the meeting of the sub-committee next Wednesday and asked the CEO to submit the demands for up-gradation and the documents in its support.

The Committee has also asked the Ministry of Power to sit with the Engineering Development Board under the Ministry of Industries to define continuous process of power in different areas for all DISCOs from K-Electric to TESCO.

The Committee was told by CEO PESCO that the problem of load-shedding and tripping of feeders in Hattar Industrial Estate will be resolved in one month’s time after converting the 400/5 series panels to 800/5 series panels. While discussing the up-gradation of scales of various officers of DISCOs from BPS-19 to BPS-20, the Committee was told that the committee for scale up-gradation sits twice a year and currently 146 people are eligible for up-gradation of posts. The committee sought details of the promotion criteria along with Key Performance Indicators and recommended that promotions and up-gradations should be competency-based and not time-based.

The meeting was attended by Senators Nauman Wazir Khattak, Saadia Abbasi, Mian Ateeq Sheikh, Maula Bakhsh Chandio, Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Additional Secretary Power, Joint Secretary Power, CEOs of DISCOs.