All Pakistan Business Forum President Ibrahim Qureshi on Monday strongly protested against the return of massive power outages, crippling the business activities. He called upon the government to resolve the matter, as industry is presently facing up to 10 hour load shedding.
Like several other commitments, the government has failed to meet its promise of ensuring zero-load shedding on industrial feeders, he added.
Ibrahim Qureshi said that the electricity load shedding has once again kicked up gear, reaching to around 8 to 10 hours in the provincial capital, as total power generation has declined owing to significant drop in Hydel power generation.
It is unfortunate that country is facing severe power shortage while the work on the important 1,410MW Tarbella 4th extension project has been stopped. Besides Tarbella 4th extension, work on Khaliq Abad section of Mangla Dam has also come to a standstill, which is un-understandable.
An additional sum of Rs 5 billion was paid to the contractor just to accelerate the work on this project but unfortunately it didn’t happen mainly because of lack of monitoring and inefficiency of the government.
APBF President said that Wapda has an army of workforce but when it comes to the implementation of important projects its efficiency is zero, as it has failed to play the role of good monitor.
He urged the government to evolve a new strategy to exploit Hydel resources in shortest possible time. Govt claimed to end power outages for industrial sector but constant increase in energy demand continues to hit the businesses. Pakistan is one of those countries where water scarcity is intensifying with every passing day, he added. He lamented that annually 35 million acre feet water is being wasted to the sea despite the fact that this water could be used for irrigation and generation of cheap Hydel power. Keeping in view the ongoing scenario, the large dams are necessary, not only for storage of surface water, which is major component for agriculture, but also for generation of hydroelectricity, which is the cheapest and cleanest form of energy, he said.
He said the Kalabagh Dam with a storage capacity of 7.9 million acre feet, would produce 3,600 megawatts of electricity and that the annual energy to be generated at Kalabagh Dam would be equivalent to 20 million barrels of oil. While the return Kalabagh Dam could be constructed within 10 billion dollars and it will bring all its cost back in five years. “The Kalabagh Dam is the most suitable project for the national economy as it would not only produce cheap and sufficient electricity but would also avert the human tragedies like Tharparkar.
APBF president said this situation has badly disturbed the daily production targets of almost all local industrial units including marble, steel, pharmaceutical, edible oil, flour, food processing, soap, IT etc. He urged the authorities to reconsider this move and take urgent measure to minimize load shedding for industry so that local industrialists could be saved from further losses.
He stressed the authorities to keep larger economic interests of the country supreme and take local industry on board to finalize a consensus load shedding schedule that should ensure minimum losses to return industrial activities.