ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to take necessary measures to ensure security of vital electricity distribution installations in KP along with safety of life of staff and property of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) and Tribal Areas Electric Supply Company (Tesco) subsequent to KP chief minister’s threats that have gone viral, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

On May 15, 2024, the Power Division, in a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stated that the KP chief minister summoned the chief executive officer (CEO), Pesco and threatened him with dire consequences if load shedding is not ended or reduced across KP in general and Dera Ismail Khan in particular.

According to Power Division, Discos operating in KP are among the top loss-making companies and it is anticipated that during the current financial year both distribution companies operating in KP i.e. Pesco and Tesco will incur a loss of around Rs 22 billion, in terms of T&D losses and under recovery.

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Power Division further stated that Government of Pakistan has launched a countrywide anti-theft campaign in September, 2023, which met with some initial success in terms of control of theft in KP.

As a result, Mardan city and some parts of Peshawar were declared load shedding-free areas, enabling the distribution company to transfer the benefits to the common citizen.

However, during elections and after assumption of office by the sitting government in KP, the situation changed drastically. Since, the government is not ready to take any ownership of the deteriorating losses and under recoveries, it is feared that overall losses of these two companies may further increase in the coming months.

“It is rather disappointing to note that the head of provincial governments is making public statements not only to justify electricity theft but also threatening to forcibly take over electricity distribution infrastructure. In this regard, a recent video of the KP chief minister went viral on social media, where he is seen issuing a deadline to the federal government and Pesco.

In the given circumstances, it is apprehended that such public instigation may lead to violent agitation, thus putting at stake lives of Pesco officials and security of government properties,“ said Power Minister, Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, in his letter to the prime minister.

He proposed to the prime minister that in view of emerging situation, law enforcement agencies be directed to take necessary steps to beef up security of vital electricity distribution installations in KPK and life and property of Pesco and Tesco employees.

The CEO Pesco, in his letter to Power Division said, “CM KP called me tonight at 2l:14 hours, and told me that he will visit Pesco HQ tomorrow morning, have a cup of tea with me saying that it will be my last cup of tea in KP. He also threatened that I will not be allowed to stay in KP and will be repatriated to the federal government.”

The sources said that the prime minister has asked Interior ministry to take necessary measures to ensure the security of vital electricity distribution installations in KP along with safety of life of property of Pesco and Tesco employees.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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M. Zahid Iftikhar May 25, 2024 10:01am
What else can party of chaos & anarchy do, but cause chaos & anarchy? PTI is the absolute worst among the lot. PTI encourages theft of electricity & that's why it was voted in by electricity thieves.
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Rizwan May 25, 2024 03:45pm
People are sick and tired of load shedding. These threats are justified.
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Adnan May 25, 2024 07:09pm
@M. Zahid Iftikhar, Hey tout, why don't you pay the hefty amount of billions of shares of FP.
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Adnan May 25, 2024 07:10pm
NFC award of KP must be paid by the federal government
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