Agriculture Forum Pakistan Chairman Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal has said there is no dearth of electricity in the country but it does lack good governance and people who could control the electricity stealers and those not paying their bills after consuming power.
‘Controlling the transmission and distribution losses of just four distribution companies out of total nine companies including of PESCO (Peshawar), KESC, QESCO and HESCO can add 1300 to 1500 mw in the system and save a financial loss of Rs 130 billion per annum,’ said Mughal while addressing a press conference here on Wednesday.
He stated that biggest opposition against construction of new dams come from Peshawar whose distribution company had the highest transmission and distribution loss (T&D) of around 37 percent. Similarly from Sindh, KESC has T&D loss of 32.2 percent and HESCO 35 percent while QESC has this loss around 21 percent. In case of such huge losses, those who are paying the bills can never have full electricity supply. He said that the government should immediately concentrate on controlling these losses to meet the widening gap of generation and consumption gap of electricity in the country.
Mughal claimed that such a distribution company set up in New Delhi by the Indian government had T&D losses around 60 percent when the government brought private sector to plug these losses and now these had been brought down to 10 to 11 percent only.
He was also critical of giving free electricity to Wapda employees and said that there are 141,500 employees in Wapda getting free electricity units from 300 to 700 per month. ‘These employees are using around Rs 30 billion’s electricity per annum. While there are also 100,000 retired employees who are enjoying similar facility too. A time is not far when our system will generate electricity for usage of these people only,’ Mughal remarked.
Agri Forum Chairman also hinted at reducing the unnecessary manpower in distribution companies. He said that Gujranwala Electricity Supply Company has 2.5 million consumers and 12000-13000 employees while KESCO serving lesser consumers have over 18,300 employees.
Talking about options of generating power by Pakistan, Mughal averred that Pakistan could produce 346,000 mw of power through wind energy. 175 kilometres long border of Ketty Bandar alone can produce 50,000 mw, he added and said that Pakistan only needs around 20,000 mw. Through Hydel means Pakistan has the capacity of producing 60,312 mw. It includes potential of producing 21,732 mw by Gilgit Baltistan, 24,600 mw by Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, 6000 by Punjab and 7700 by Azad Jammu and Kashmir besides 179 mw by Sindh. He said total demand of whole Pakistan is not more than 17000 mw.
‘If we can control 2000 mw loss of electricity, immediately construct Kalabagh Dam and add its 4000 mw and payback all the money to the IPPs then we can meet this demand,’ he claimed. He said that Sindh is yet to pay Rs 55 billion, Punjab 13 billion, KP and Balochistan 25 billion and private sector Rs 160 billion to Wapda. All these amounts if recovered are enough to pay the dues of the IPPs and bring additional power to the system.
However, Mughal said that construction of dams is the most perfect way to generate cheaper electricity as cost of one unit generated through hydro is 39 paisa, coal produces at Rs 4.90 per unit, diesel Rs 15.74 per unit, furnace oil at Rs 12 per unit, Gas at Rs 9 per unit and nuclear at 51 paisa per unit. Electricity imported from Iran will cost at Rs 4.85 per unit, Mughal claimed. However, he said that immediate steps to control increasing demand are to control the transmission and distribution losses, recovering the dues, recovery of bills and construction of Kalabagh Dam.