LAHORE - Managing Director Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) Tahir Basharat Cheema on Saturday claimed that as a result of closing down of the shopping centers at 8.00 pm in the Punjab capital and other cities in the province and two holidays in the offices, 1100-MW of electricity have been saved, thus reducing the burden of loadshedding on the general public. He was addressing a meeting of National Security Special Committee (NSSC) of Pakistan National Forum held here at a local club on Saturday. Former Governors Punjab Khalid Maqbool and Muhammad Iqbal, Admiral (r) Yastoor-ul-Haq, Chief of Navel Staff, Lt-Gen (r) Nishat Ahmed, Naseer Akhtar, Zia Ullah Khan, Sardar Ali, Muhammad Afzal Najeeb, Air Marshal (r) Khursheed Anwar Mirza, Air Vice Marshals (r) Amjad Hussain, Umer Farooq, Abdul Hafeez Rana, Maj-Gen (r) Zahoor Malik, Mahboob Malik, Sarfraz Ahmad, Ashraf Chaudhry, Khawaja Rahat Latif and President, PNF Col (r) M Ikram Ullah Khan also attended the meeting. Cheema said that the load on air conditioning in offices and residences of the well-to-do sections of population comes to 4000-MW. He said that in 1947 power production of Pakistan was 31-MW but with the passage of time population increased many times and we remained unable to focus on power production. We had gone to sleep after the construction of Tarbela and Mangla in 1967 and 1977 respectively. The total capacity of hydroelectric power stations is 6,443.56-MW, which is 37.10 per cent of the total installed generation capacity of WAPDA, Cheema added. The MD Pepco further said that the efforts to construct Kalabagh Dam could not be materialised due to political reasons, which caused imbalance in production and consumption of power. Our daily need of electricity is 15,000-MW while we are producing 10,400 MW and the shortage is only 4500-MW to 5,000-MW, he maintained. He said that the private sector should be allowed and encouraged to produce power. With the increase of population quantity of washing machines, air conditioners, oven and other home appliances has increased which certainly run on power. The masses support is a must to overcome the energy shortage, he added. Cheema further said that the government were in process to get power from Iran but it was difficult to negotiate with Iranian bureaucracy. While replying to a question as to why the consumers should pay for the theft and other line losses, Cheema said that only the companies were paying for these losses. On this occasion, MD Pepco also disclosed that 8,800 power thieves had been apprehended so far while WAPDA received about 200 complaints on daily basis against power thieves through telephone calls. He further added that the nuclear power was the cheapest but its installation cost is too much. Maj-Gen (r) Khawaja Rahat Latif said that we had invested nothing in the power sector during last 15 years, which led to energy crisis being faced by the masses now. Former Governor Punjab Lt-Gen (retd) Khalid Maqbool said that Pervez Mushrraf regime had given special attention to the power sector and started some projects that were being completed at present. Air Vice Marshal (r) Abdul Hafeez Rana suggested that closing down of markets at 8.00 pm must be continued for ever as the timings of markets had disturbed the routine life. Air Vice Marshal (r) Umer Farooq stressed that strict action should be taken against the power thieves. Admiral Yastoor-ul-Haq concluded the meeting with vote of thanks to the members of the committee and the guest speaker. Earlier, President PNF Col (r) Ikram Ullah Khan welcomed MD Pepco Cheema for attending the meeting to discuss the issues of national interest.