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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways has accused Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) and Sukkur Electric Supply Company (SESCO) of involvement in over/bogus billing besides occupying its land without any authority.

In a letter to Power Division, Pakistan Railways Director General (Technical) has stated that PR is currently experiencing significant financial instability. As a result, it has identified the need to optimize operational costs and streamline its resources with a specific focus on reducing expenditures, especially in utilities.

Recently, some important issues were discussed in an inter-ministerial meeting on reforms in Railways wherein it was assured by the representative of Power Division that concerned Discos will be directed to facilitate Pakistan Railway for settlement of pending issues.

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According to Director General (Technical) Pakistan Railways has taken up the matter of shifting of PR electricity supply system including direct billing of railway residential colonies through respective Discos and K-Electric.

Out of 26,660, total of 16,852 meters for residential units have been installed and energized by the Discos/K-Electric. For remaining 9808 units, payment against 1370 units has been made to respective Discos but meters have not been installed yet.

Also, PR is facing significant difficulties due to delay in installation of 1370 electric meters at various residential colonies of Pakistan Railways, which are required to be addressed by the respective Discos immediately. Besides that, the issue of Railway colonies for which demand notices are awaited also need immediate attention.

Furthermore, Pakistan Railways allowed Discos/K-Electric for overhead/underground electric crossing over Railways track under certain terms and conditions.

However, due to rapid expansion of electric distribution network in the country, WAPDA/ Discos had crossed Railways tracks without any prior approval and payment to Pakistan Railways.

In this regard, an amount of Rs 2,389.2 million is recoverable from various Discos on account of crossing charges, which need to be adjusted in electricity bills of Railways department along with regularization of such illegal crossing.

Director General (Technical) argued that Railway land measuring 4.41 acre at Sukkur and 17.52 acres at Rohri had been leased out to WAPDA (SEPCO) for staking purpose in 1963 for the period of three years.

After expiry of lease period, WAPDA (SEPCO) is still occupying the same, unauthorizedly and established grid stations on same land without getting approval from Pakistan Railways. In this regard, occupancy charges with effect from 1966 amounting to Rs 122.146 million against SEPCO is outstanding, which are needed to be recovered from SEPCO. Railways has requested that matter of regularization/vacation of said land need to be finalized on priority.

Moreover, issue of over/bogus billing by LESCO and SEPCO was also referred to NEPRA for resolution, which is still unresolved due to which Pakistan Railways is bearing financial losses on account of over/bogus billing.

Pakistan Railways has sought immediate intervention of Power Division for issuance of necessary directives to the Chief Executive Officers of all the concerned distribution companies under its purview for settlement of all the issues.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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