Ar­ti­fi­cial short­fall

Enterprise - - Letter -

The re­cent Nepra re­port de­tail­ing gross mis­man­age­ment in the en­ergy sec­tor is shock­ing. But it is noth­ing when com­pared to what the gov­ern­ment did back in 200708. Nepra should also in­ves­ti­gate the causes be­hind the sud­den en­ergy short­fall we faced at the end of 2007 and which con­tin­ues till to­day. An engi­neer can tell you that the 12-hour load­shed­ding that the Mushar­raf-led gov­ern­ment started in 2007 ac­tu­ally means half of our elec­tric­ity pro­duc­tion sim­ply dis­ap­peared – which is not pos­si­ble.

On closer look one would find that a num­ber of power plants were shut down on pur­pose. Since our 70 per­cent en­ergy pro­duc­tion comes from fuel-based ther­mal plants, turn­ing th­ese plants off was easy. This also meant that for ev­ery month a plant was not op­er­a­tional, the gov­ern­ment had to pay a ca­pac­ity fee. But since there was no elec­tric­ity to sell, the gov­ern­ment got noth­ing in re­turn. This re­sulted in cir­cu­lar debt that iron­i­cally was also termed an­other rea­son for load­shed­ding. The re­al­ity is that the peo­ple of this coun­try were taken for a ride and duped into think­ing that there was an elec­tric­ity short­fall. In fact, the short­fall was ar­ti­fi­cially cre­ated by the Mushar­rafled gov­ern­ment. The strat­egy was copied and strength­ened by the PPP-led gov­ern­ment.

Engr Muham­mad Baseer

Pe­shawar

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