‘So where’s all the electricity going,huh?’


Lahore High Court Chief Justice Azmat Saeed on Tuesday directed the Ministry of Power and Water to submit schedule of ‘announced and unannounced electricity load-shedding’ by March 20. The court also sought a detailed report from NEPRA about expenses being incurred on production and supply of electricity.
Justice Azmat exclaime, “It’s funny that one day the minister for water and power announces that there’d be no power outages and the next day the outages begin.”On Tuesday, Khawaja Tariq Rahim appeared on behalf of the ministry of power and water and stated that the petitioner could get all the details under the Right of Information Ordinance 2002. He further said the details of audited accounts could also be obtained from Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan. The court remarked that article 19-A of the constitution was unambiguous and that every citizen had the right to get details of tax revenue. The CJ was hearing a petition seeking a restraining order for WAPDA and electricity distribution companies to not hold the power load shedding management sharing plan.
Previously the court had directed PEPCO (Pakistan Electric Power Company) to submit the electricity load-shedding schedule for VVIPs and important premises including those of the president, prime minister, governor, chief minister and the ministers.
Advocate Azhar Siddique, who filed the petition, argued that the government had failed to supply uninterrupted electric supplies to hospitals, whether federal, provincial or private especially in the ongoing season when rivers were full of water and that there had technically been no shortfall in electricity production.
He alleged that the government was not paying payments/outstanding to IPPs (Independent Power Producers) and they were not producing electricity which was a violation of fundamental rights of the people. He exclaimed it was a well-known fact that people were facing gas outages for no reason and electricity shortfall had resumed, again for no reason. He pointed out that the government was ‘illegally’ collecting fuel adjustment charges, equalisation surcharge and others, but had failed to provide uninterrupted electricity to citizens.