ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf on Monday directed PEPCO and the PPIB to timely complete fast track and rental power projects to end load shedding from the country by December 2009. He asked them to monitor the progress and submit update of the projects on weekly basis.

He made these directions while presiding over a meeting to review the progress of water and power sector projects here on Monday. Secretary, Adviser and additional secretary of the ministry, Chairman Wapda, CEO, AEDB, MD, NPCC and other senior officials of ministry, WAPDA and PEPCO participated in the meeting.

The minister also directed that there should be no need for shutdown in the summer due to maintenance and minor faults. He also asked PEPCO and IPPs to improve their oil stocks so that there should be maximum generation during the summer season. The minister said that the government was striving hard and taking all possible measures to end the menace of load shedding which is affecting all walks of lives. He said that the ongoing projects initiated by the present government last year would help to significantly improve the power generation system.

The meeting noted that there was no unscheduled and forced load shedding and the shortfall as of today was less than 1845MW as compared to 2113MW same day last year. This improvement had been possible due to effective measures this year. The meeting decided to promote replacement of high consuming power equipments, currently being used in tube wells with new and efficient ones for better efficiency and less consumption of electricity. The minister stressed the need for energy conservation to save electricity for industrial and agriculture sectors. He also directed PEPCO to educate the masses on demand side management programme through media.

Earlier, PEPCO and the PPIB informed the meeting that 800MW would be injected in the system by June this year and overall about 4000MW by December 2009.

Later, talking to the media, the minister said that the target to bridge the gap between demand and supply would be achieved and there would be no load shedding by December 2009. He urged that the people should also cooperate and avoid unnecessary use of electricity in the offices, commercial centres and houses. He also asked the traders to close their shops early and switch off their 50 percent lights voluntarily. He advised the people to always switch off their television, microwave oven, mobile-charger after use instead of keeping them on stand by position as they consume power in the stand by mode as well. To a question, he said that a proposal was under consideration to move forward clocks by one hour to ensure maximum use of daylight. To another question about line losses, he replied that the Discos had been given targets to reduce line losses and to improve efficiency, as there was no room for inefficient.

Source: Daily Times