ISLAMABAD - Expressing his strong displeasure over the unscheduled loadshedding in Ramazan and power managers' failure to cope with the situation arisen due to extreme climatic conditions in parts of the country, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the Ministry of Water and Power to take adequate steps to deal with the situation.

The PM expressed these views while chairing the 16th meeting of Cabinet Committee on Energy here at the Prime Minister's House. Secretary Water and Power Younas Dagha briefed the participants on the power management plan for the month of Ramazan and also listed the reasons for the disruption in power management due to unprecedented heatwave followed by thunderstorms in southern parts of the country which led to unscheduled loadshedding.

Rejecting to accept the reasons given by Mr Dagha in his briefing, Nawaz Sharif expressed strong displeasure over the Ministry of Water and Power’s failure to deal with the situation, particularly in Karachi, which resulted in over 1000 deaths during last four days, putting the government in awkward position, a source in PM's House informed The Nation.

The PM directed the power managers to ensure the power distribution plan decided in the previous meeting of Cabinet Committee on Energy adding that they should also be prepared to deal with any emergency situation to avoid the Karachi-like fiasco in future, the source further informed.

Earlier in the briefing, the Water and Power Secretary informed the meeting that except for the first day of the holy month when an unprecedented heatwave entered the southern part of country, followed by thunderstorms, which disturbed the transmission and distribution system, loadshedding during Ramazan is being done as per the approved plan with no loadshedding at Sehr and Iftar time.

The PM expressed his displeasure over unscheduled loadshedding in the beginning of Ramazan and directed that preparations should always be made to cater to the possibility of unfavourable weather conditions.

The meeting discussed in detail the power supply situation in Karachi and matters related to K-Electric, expressing its concern that KE is not generating electricity at its full capacity and instead is taking 650 MW from the national grid. The meeting was also briefed on demand, supply, transmission and distribution projections for 2015-18 including hydro, nuclear, wind, solar, LNG and thermal power plants.

The PM directed that in addition to increasing supply of electricity, measures should also be taken simultaneously to upgrade the transmission and distribution infrastructure. The meeting, which lasted for more than three hours, was also updated on Matiari-Lahore transmission line and the progress on Neelum-Jhelum Power Project.

Sources informed that the Prime Minister also expressed displeasure over the undue delay in completion of the Neelum-Jhelum Power Project, and directed the committee to expedite work on the decisions taken about the project in its previous meeting.

Participants of the meeting included Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Asif, Federal Minister for Information Pervaiz Rasheed, Federal Minister for Petroleum, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafique, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, MOS for Petroleum Jam Kamal Khan, MOS for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali, Advisor to PM on National Security Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to PM Dr. Musaddiq Malik, Secretary to PM Javed Aslam, Secretary Petroleum Arshad Mirza, Secretary Economic Affairs Division Saleem Sethi, Secretary Railways Ms. Parveen Agha and Wapda Chairman Zafar Mahmood along with other senior federal and provincial government officials.