Event Title: Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Power held at Parliament House, Islamabad.
Event Date: 2023-05-24
Chairman Committee, Senator Saifullah Abro chaired the meeting; that was attended by Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan, Senator Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Rana Mahmood ul Hassan and senior officers of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division), NEPRA along with all concerned.
The Committee was briefed in detail regarding the massive power breakdown that took place in January and the undertaken enquiries; the construction of double 765Kv double circuit transmission line from Dasu Hydro Power Station to Islamabad and update on illegal appointment of DMD and other posts in NTDC. Other matters taken up were briefings by different DISCOs on recovery status; Maintenance and operation status of Public Sector Power Plants installed at all GENCOs along with recovery of damage of 747MW (GT-14) from M/s GE and status of promotion of technical staff from XEN to C.E and update status of appointment of CEO, GHCL and consideration of Point of Public Importance regarding the process of appointments in MEPCO.
Probing reasons for the massive power breakdown that took place in January this year across the country, the Committee was informed that lack of SOPs for the operations of system, in general was a major cause for the incident. It was asserted in this particular case increase in wind power due to bad weather caused the catastrophe. The Committee raised questions regarding the reports of the four inquiry Committees that were constituted to investigate the matter and raised strong objections regarding non-availability of the same. The Power Division briefed the Committee that four Committee have been constituted in light of direction given by the Cabinet. The notifications were issued on 4th April, 2023 and two weeks’ time was given to finalize the report. When asked about the finalization of the report, it was told the Committee that three technical reports are submitted to the Power Division and two are left. The Power Division assured the Committee that final report will be submitted to the Committee within 29 days. The Committee also recommended Power Division to submit the notifications of these four Committees constituted by Power Division.
Deliberating over the construction of 765Kv double circuit line from Dasu Hydro Power Station to Islamabad the Committee took strong notice of the non-implementation of recommendations. It also pointed out irregularities in the tendering process and directed NTDC that information related to the local agents of World Bank who participated in the bid may be provided to the Committee. The Committee recommended Power Division to hold a departmental inquiry in this regard. The Committee also recommended NTDC to provide a complete list of all projects undertaken by disqualified parties in the last 25 years (for hiring of consultant) may be submitted to the Committee for review. Since this project is funded by the World Bank the Ministry was directed to provide details of all agreements and TORs to the Committee as well.
Taking up the matter of illegal appointment of DMD and other posts in NTDC, the Committee probed the reasons for delay in Board meetings and stressed that this matter may be resolved at the earliest. Discussing the maintenance and operation status of Public Sector Power Plants installed at all GENCOs along with recovery of damage of 747MW (GT-14) from M/s GE, the Committee recommended CEO, GENCO-II to withhold the payment of M/s GE and writing to all stakeholders for expediting matters. The Committee also recommended Power Division to block the payment of M/s GE in other projects.
During consideration of Point of Public Importance regarding the process of appointments in MEPCO, the CEO, and MEPCO briefed the Committee in detail about the issue. The Committee directed Power Division that details of all candidates along with their CVs and certificates may be submitted to the Committee for review within week time. It was also asserted that the two candidates applied for the position may be invited for their side of the story in the next meeting.