A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Power was held on Thursday at Parliament Lodges, Islamabad.
Chaired by Senator Fida Muhammad, the meeting was attended by Senator Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak, Senator Dr Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Senator Ahmed Khan, Senator Dilawar Khan, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Senator Siraj ul Haq and senior officers from the Power Division, NEPRA along with all concerned.
The meeting commenced with a discussion on the details on new electric connections applied in District Mansehra since 1st June, 2020. The Committee took strong notice of the fact that a house in Mansehra District, despite qualifying was not being awarded a connection. The Committee was informed that the main reason for this was that the said construction was near a Housing Society, due to which issues cropped up. The Committee showed grave displeasure regarding the lax attitude of the officer concerned regarding this matter and directed PESCO that an inquiry must be conducted against him and that he must immediately be made an OSD.
While discussion on the agenda regarding fire incidents that took place at 132 KV Grid Stations at Dargai and Kohat, the Committee asked PESCO authorities regarding reasons behind the fire incidents. The Committee was informed that inquiries were being conducted to probe the matter. The Committee directed PESCO to submit the inquiry report to the Committee in the next meeting.
During further consideration of the Point of Public Importance regarding Transparency in the recruitment process of Meter Readers and Linemen in PESCO, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, the Mover of the agenda item, briefed the Committee about the irregularities found in the recruitment process. He further briefed the Committee that gross violations of PEPCO’s and Establishment Division’s rules and SOPs had occurred. Upon an inquiry by the Chairman Committee it was told that the report of the Committee constituted by PEPCO to enquire the recruitment process in PESCO was still awaited. MD PEPCO assured the Committee that he will ensure that the said report is completed and submitted to the Committee at the earliest.
Taking up the issue of Power Factor less than 0.9 in numerous DISCOs the Committee gave directions to NEPRA to look into the matter. It was asserted that the Power Factor of PESCO, QESCO and SEPCO is poor. NEPRA apprised the Committee that the matter has been taken up with these DISCOs to submit their plans for power factor improvements. The Committee asserted that the process to improve the Power Factor was simple. All that was needed were to connect and attach capacitors which in most cases are already available with the DISCOs. It was asserted that DISCOs with a Power Factor less than 0.9 must be penalized. A compliance report must be submitted to the Committee.
Responding to the observation made by the Committee, Mr. Monis Alvi, CEO K Electric briefed the Committee that to resolve the complaints of consumers the organization is working hard to bring improvements in that regard. Chairman Committee, Senator Fida Muhammad enquired about the details of the people who lost their lives due to electric current since January 2020 and the compensation given to the bereaved families. CEO K Electric told the Committee that details have already been submitted to NEPRA. Regarding compensation, he said amount had already been given to bereaved families.