Meeting held to discuss Pakistan's energy crisis

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's federal cabinet yesterday convened a special meeting here to discuss the worsening energy situation and decided that all commercial markets will be closed at 9 pm while clocks will be set one hour ahead from June 1 till the end of August.

By Our Correspondent

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Published: Fri 16 May 2008, 9:16 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:35 PM

The objective of the whole exercise is to save energy in the peak summer season. The move of setting the clock an hour ahead that had failed twice first during the term of prime minister Banazir Bhutto and then in the last government headed by President Pervez Musharraf is now being tried again to get the desired goal of saving energy.

This means the sun rise in Islamabad will be at 6:05 am instead of 5:05 am and sun set at 8:05 pm instead 7:05 pm. Presided over by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, the cabinet also decided that international bids will be invited to generate 1,200 mega watts (MW) of electricity on fast track basis.

The industrial zones across the country will start observing holidays on rotation basis to share the load on electricity while air conditions (ACs) in all government offices will not be turned on from 8 am to 11 am during this period. Half of the street lights will also remain off on alternative basis during these three months. The government will also import 10million energy saving bulbs to promote the culture of energy conservation.

This summer (June-August), Pakistan is facing 4000MW of electricity shortages worse than the last year after a 50 per cent (2500MW) drop in hydel generation due to less water in rivers and slower melting down of snows on the mountains, Water Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said while briefing the newspersons on the cabinet meeting. He said from July international bids will be invited for production of 1200 MW on fast track basis.

These bids will be offered at the existing rates (considered cheaper) of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) in order to attract investment.

However, this offer will be closed as soon as the government achieved the generation target of 1200 MW.

The water minister said the power generation tendering and production process took three years or more, but the government has decided to accomplish it within a year-and-a-half.

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