A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Power was held on Monday at Parliament Lodges, Islamabad. Chairman Committee, Senator Saifullah Abro chaired the meeting; that was attended by Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator Prince Ahmed Umar Ahmedzai, Senator Zeeshan Khanzada, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Atta-ur-Rehman and senior officers of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division), NEPRA along with all concerned.
The Committee was briefed on matters of importance related de-licensed public sector power generation plants and revision of tariffs of GENCO-I; issues related to payment of compensation to residents of Tehsil Ghazi of Haripur District, whose land has been affected by laying of Heavy Transmission Lines from Tarbela Power House and ELR expenditures in MEPCO and LESCO. A Private Members’ Bill titled “The Regulation of Generation Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was also discussed and recommended by the Committee to be not passed by the Senate of Pakistan. An update on Independent Inquiry Report of GT-14 in GENCO-II also came under discussion.
Regarding payment of compensation to residents of Tehsil Ghazi of Haripur District, whose land has been affected by laying of Heavy Transmission Lines from Tarbela Power House, raised by Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah; the Committee was informed that numerous residents of Tehsil Ghazi have been affected by this issue as several acres of land stands usurped. Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah stressed the need for a compensation package keeping in view current market rates. He said that there are 5 Heavy Transmission Lines spread out in the area and the sixth is currently being placed. He stressed that measures must be taken to reinforce safety measures in the area as well, since Heavy Transmission lines are a major threat to human life. The Committee while seconding Senator Shah’s recommendations directed the Power Division to look into the matter. It was asserted that all out efforts must be made to compensate affectees financially and that too according to current market rates. Safety mechanisms must be strengthened as well. The 1910 Electricity Act and the WAPDA Act of 1958 will be submitted to the Committee for further review of mechanism of payment of crops / trees & damages compensation to the affectees.
Reviewing ELR expenditures in MEPCO and LESCO, the Committee objected to lack of details presented by the companies. It was asserted that details of allocations must be added to the document for a detailed review and also information regarding development and rehabilitation work. A revised document will be submitted to the Committee within two weeks time.