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ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Standing Committee on Power, headed by Chaudhry Salik Husain, on Thursday grilled Power Division's top brass for not taking measures to resolve power crisis which has made people's life miserable.

According to reports, the system is still facing a shortfall of over 6000 MW, mainly due to fault in Tarbela dam and insufficient supply of fuel to other power plants.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has also summoned the CEOs of all the Discos and KE on Friday (today) to explain their position on loadshedding.

The furious Standing Committee members put aside the agenda of the meeting circulated on June 3, 2021 and requested the chairman to discuss the worsening loadshedding situation in the country especially during the past couple of days.

The committee members were also dismayed at the absence of Hammad Azhar, federal minister on energy (Power Division), and argued that the agenda consisting of important bills cannot be discussed without the minister's input.

The Chairman of the Committee, Chaudhry Salik Husain, concurred with the views of the members, saying that prolonged power outages have become the norm in different parts of the country, and as legislators they have to face tough questions on loadshedding, and in this regard, the government should give a plan to resolve the crisis.

Members hailing from KP, Sindh and Punjab said that besides the problem of loadshedding, transformers which are either damaged or burnt down in remote villages are not replaced. The standing committee members stated that people have to bribe to get damaged or burnt transformers replaced.

Secretary of Ministry of Power, Ali Raza Bhutta, who appeared nervous due to open criticism of the minister and Discos staff, assured the committee that he would hold an inquiry into allegations of bribe for replacement of damaged/ burnt transformers.

On the issue of massive loadshedding, the secretary of power said that the demand and supply gap has widened and the problem of loadshedding worsened due to the closure of two tunnels of Tarbela dam. The situation is improving steadily after the Tarbela dam becomes functional.

The committee vowed to have a comprehensive briefing on loadshedding in the next scheduled meeting and asked the secretary of Power Division to direct the CEOs of all the Discos to personally resolve the loadshedding problem in remote villages.

The meeting was attended by MNA's Sher Akbar Khan, Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Malik Anwar Taj, Saif Ur Rehman, Lal Chand, Engr. Sabir Hussain Kaim Khani, Saira Bano, Azhar Qayyum Nahra, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Raza Rabani Khar, Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Shazia Marri and Zahid Akram Durrani.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021