10,000MW to be added before 2018: GoP

Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali informed National Assembly during the question-hour that the government is working on numerous electricity projects to generate 10,000MW and this would help end load shedding in the country by March 2018. 

The government is committed to overcoming the electricity shortage before its term expires in 2018, he said, adding that 8,000-10,000MW of electricity would be added in the system and this would be sufficient to meet the country’s energy demand. 

The government is working on multiple fronts including generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to achieve zero load shedding. 

According to him the industry is already exempted from load shedding whereas in the month of November 2016, the government has reduced the duration of power outages for domestic consumers by 50 per cent. 

All of the government’s policies, initiatives and developments are aimed at eliminating load shedding in order to facilitate a comfortable lifestyle for the people and uninterrupted progress of the industrial sector in the country, he said. 

The minister said that due to sincere and hectic efforts of the government, the generating capacity of electricity is continuously increasing and the duration of load shedding has also decreased gradually. 

To help the ministry of water and power to control electricity theft in the province, he also requested the Sindh government to refund arrears as soon as possible.

The minister proposed a committee of the National Assembly headed by PPP MNA Syed Naveed Qamar to take up the issue of clearance of all the outstanding dues with the Sindh government. 

To another question, Abid Sher Ali said the work on Munda Dam Project will start in 2017 after the approval of Planning Commission and currently the project is in ‘Study Phase’ which comprises detailed engineering design, preparation of tender documents and PC-I. 

The total cost of the study project is estimated at Rs 1097.760 million, out of which 87 per cent will be soft loan whereas remaining Rs 138.706 million are being provided through Public Sector Development Program. 

He said that so far 79 per cent of the detailed design study has been completed and for construction phase of the project, about Rs251.683 billion are required. Out of 37,419 acres of land required for the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam project, 28,247 acres of land have been acquired, he said, adding the government is providing funds for land acquisition through the PSDP. 

The installed capacity of Diamer-Bhasha Dam will be 4,500 megawatts and average annual generation will be 19,208Gwh.