Govt announces two holidays a week

In order overcome the energy crisis and overcome load shedding the government has announced two weekly off for government offices, closure of business centers by 8 pm and the use of air-conditioners at the government offices would not be allowed before 11am

Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf briefing the media told that the participants of the energy meeting have closely evaluated the power crisis in the country and refuted the perception of the public that the government is deliberately conducting load shedding.

No government wants to earn the wrath of the public, the minister said.

Talking about the recommendation of the summit, he informed that Government offices would have two weekly offs adding the industries would announce alternative weekly offs till 31 July to meet electricity emergency and all the shops in commercial areas and markets would be closed after 08:00pm except pharmacy and bakery shops and Air Conditions in Government wouldn’t be utilized prior to 11:00am and only grade 20 officers would be allow to use ACs

He also informed that electricity to Billboards and Neon-sign boards will be disconnected and these billboards could be lighted only through solar energy sources and street light would also be illuminated by alternative steps and by pursuing these steps approximately 314MW electricity would be conserved.

He added that 50 percent less lights would be used in the government offices including those of the President and the PM.

The power quota to Karachi from Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) has been slashed by 300 Megawatts from 650 MWs, he said adding now Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) will receive only 350 MWs.

The marriage halls would be allowed to have function for only three hours, he said.

The electricity would not be provided to agricultural sector in peak hours.

At least 1300 MWs would come into system by the end of the year, he said.

Federal Minister further pointed out that five rental power plants will start functioning from next month adding that 183mmc additional gas supply to be provided to power sector and KESC’s electricity supply would be reduced from 650MW to 300MW and up to next year 750MW additional power supply would be included in national grid.

He also acknowledged that unscheduled load shedding has been the biggest challenge for the government and by pursuing the recommendation of energy summit up to 33% load shedding will be reduced in the country.

Responding to a query, Federal Minister said that Punjab Government has assured to pay its dues of WAPDA within next few days, while KESC that has to pay Rs. 41 billion has also promised to deposit its dues adding that demand growth of the country has been increased with the rate of 8% and with this ratio till 2015, We need 36,000MW electricity.

Replying to another question he said that he has talked to Iranian Ambassador regarding getting electricity from Iran and he has informed that get 1000MW electricity from Iran it would take almost 4 to 5 years to layout electricity lines between both the countries.

Addressing to concluding session of energy summit here on Thursday, Prime Minister acknowledged the difficulties of the masses related to prolonged power outages said that the government has been committed and responsible to relieve the masses from power crisis.

He also pointed out that power crisis in the country rooted since 1994 and at time PPP’s government averted the crisis at that time and now today the incumbent government has also convened Energy Summit conference to tackle the electricity challenge adding that the recommendation that have been forwarded by the summit would be implemented within 3 to 4 days including Two weekly off days in government affiliated departments, conservation of electricity as short term, medium term and to establish Energy development fund.

Prime Minister also informed that through short-term conservation step approximately 500MW electricity would be conserved and Ten-IPPs rental power projects will be functional from next month with electricity generation capacity of 650MW and this generation capacity would be increased up to 1300MW till next year with the Windmill and Nuclear power projects.

On the recommendation and suggestion of provincial ministers of the four provinces the government has also decided to constitute Energy development Fund that would be funded by public sectors and the recommendations of the summit would be reviewed after every 15-days as the government has been focusing attention at industrial and agriculture sector adding that through these steps scheduled load shedding would be reduced up to 33%.

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