Load shedding cost DISCOs Rs 225.4b in three years, NA told

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Minister of Water and Power Naveed Qamar on Friday dropped a bombshell in the National Assembly by informing the House that the country’s power distribution companies (DISCO) had suffered a loss of Rs 225.47 billion during the last three years due to massive load shedding – leaving a huge question mark on the performance of his ministry which had not only hit the economy hard but also had a negative impact on power distribution companies.

Mian Abrar In a written reply in the question-hour session, Qamar said the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) suffered a loss of Rs 29.21 billion, Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) Rs 12.14 billion, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) Rs 43,467.859 million, Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) sustained loss of Rs 32,795.37 million, Tribal Electric Supply Company (TESCO) Rs 14.85 million, Multan Electric Supply Company (MEPCO) Rs 79,973 million, Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) 3,210.95 million, Gujranwala Electric Supply Company (GEPCO) Rs 21,792 million and Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) Rs 2,866 million.
To another question, Qamar said there would be no end to load shedding in the near future and the power shortfall would cross 3,500MW in summer. He said WAPDA had been assigned to carry out planning and construction of 32 small and medium sized dams across the country in two phases, while no dam completion was possible as early as year 2015. “The Gomal Zam Dam would be completed by February 2015 with an estimated cost of Rs 240 billion while the foundation stone of Diamer-Bhasha Dam would be laid within the next two weeks,” he added.
He said 12 small and medium dams would be constructed in various parts of the country in Phase-I. According to the schedule, he said, the dams would be completed by 2014. However, he made it clear that the start and completion of these projects depended on availability of funds. In the first phase, he said, two water reservoirs would be constructed in Sindh, five in Balochistan, three in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and two in Punjab, while work on some dams had already been started.
He said 20 other water reservoirs would be constructed in Phase-II.
To a question, he said India had so far constructed 43 hydro-electric projects on our western rivers of Indus, Jhelum and Chenab and out of those 13 were pre-Indus Water Treaty signed with India in 1960.
He said around 30 hydro-electric projects were constructed after signing of the agreement. “Of the 30 projects, only eight could be categorised as major projects and the remaining are mini and micro hydroelectric projects having no downstream effects,” the minister said.
Qamar also said that India was continuously constructing projects on our western rivers at an average rate of one project every two years.

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