PM Shehbaz seeks end to electricity theft, transmission line losses


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting of the federal cabinet on March 2. — PID
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting of the federal cabinet on March 2. — PID

  • Formation, deployment of special police force stressed in areas with 60% line losses.
  • “Abnormal increase in frequency tripped system of power plants on Jan 23.”
  • Premier Shehbaz also orders solarisation of tube wells amid power crisis.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed to constitute a special cabinet committee to finalise a strategy to end line losses, theft of electricity and solarisation of tube wells.

Chairing the cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Thursday, the premier ordered authorities concerned to take necessary steps to line the power system with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA).

The federal cabinet was also given a proposal about the formation of a special police force to be deployed in areas with 60% and more line losses.

PM Shehbaz directed the Power Division to hold a departmental action after the findings of an inquiry report held responsible for the ‘human and technical error’ for the countrywide power breakdown of January 23.

A massive power breakdown hit Pakistan on January 23, hampering businesses and the daily lives of the country’s more than 220 million people. The prime minister had also ordered an inquiry into the outage, which began at around 7:30am on that day.

The outage — which Energy Minister Khurram Dastagir had said was due to a voltage surge — was the second major grid failure in three months.

During the cabinet meeting, the prime minister gave the order as the inquiry report of the massive power breakdown was presented in the cabinet meeting.

The nation, he said, was awaiting strict action against those responsible for the incident that left the country in a power blackout for several hours.

Inquiry report 

The inquiry report said that an abnormal increase in the frequency of the alternate current line tripped the automatic security system of power plants.

It also said that the Kot Addu power plant had the facility of ‘black start’, however, due to the expiry of the contract of the plant, it could not be made operational. Black Start is the procedure to recover from a total or partial shutdown of the transmission system which has caused an extensive loss of supplies.