LAHORE  -  Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) chief executive officer Mujahid Pervaiz Chatha has said that 80 to 90 percent malpractices have been removed in overbilling and concerned staff has strictly been directed to keep away from overbilling.

He was addressing the members of Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry here on Monday. Lahore Electric Supply Company CEO said that there is no manipulation in loadshedding and electricity supply is far better than the last year. Power-shutdowns are compulsion for maintenance and repairing work.

He said that transmission system of LESCO is double than Karachi and no system of the world can run without maintenance.

For new connections, LESCO CEO said that LESCO is bringing continuous perfection in the framework given by NEPRA. He said that in case of late payment, Lahore Electric Supply Company imposes 10% penalty, gives 30 days and disconnects electricity after two months continuous default.

He said that feeders of Quaid-e-Azam, Sunder and Ferozepur Road industrial areas would be interruption-free soon as work is well on the way. He said that government has allocated Rs. 500 million for improvement in power distribution system in old Lahore and tenders have been called.

To a query about establishment of a feeder in Central Park, Mujahid Pervaiz Chatha said that LESCO has taken over this project as contractor was using delaying tactics. He said that LESCO is only company that has upgraded all grids from 66 KV to 132 KV. He said that distribution load increased 15 per cent against the expectation of 6 per cent in 2017. He said that 18 new grid stations have been established and 77 upgraded. He said that 7000 posts are vacant in LESCO while numbers of consumers have been increased from 2.5 million to 4.6 million.

Addressing the meeting Almas Hyder said that electricity is one of the indicators which determine the ranking of ease of doing business. Pakistan would have to make electricity system better to improve this poor ranking which is also deterring the foreign direct investment.

He said that poor ranking of 147th in ease of doing business can be improved if Lahore Electric Supply Company makes electricity system better in Lahore. “Uninterrupted electricity is a must to achieve 6 to 7 per cent growth rate”, the LCCI president said and added that not only electricity related but all infrastructure, whether it is airports, railway stations or road network, should be upgraded to turn this city into showcase of the world.

The LCCI chief urged the CEO LESCO to share his distribution, management and development plans with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He said that loadshedding is still happening even at the midnights when power load on system is normal. Is load shedding being done to reduce circular debt, the LCCI president questioned? He also highlighted the issues of over-billing and 10% penalty in case of late payments and called for early resolution.