ISLAMABAD – The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the Senate on Friday blamed the past governments of PPP and PML-N for the energy crises in the country and said that it was doing a root cause analysis of the last weekend’s major power shutdown that plunged the entire country into darkness.
Responding to the criticism of the opposition for the blackout, the shortage of gas and over prices of electricity, Minister for Energy (Power Division) Omar Ayub Khan told the House that the PTI government was trying to improve the country’s power and gas sectors by addressing mistakes of the previous regimes of PPP and PML-N, both opposition parties.
About the power shutdown, the power minister informed that the preliminary reason was the mistake of a team working at the Guddu Power Plant where a “repair work was underway on a breaker besides the gas turbine and they had done earthing there.” They did not communicate with the National Power Control Center before energizing this earthing system, he added. “When they energized it, 2, 20,000 voltage line got earthed immediately at zero causing a voltage crisis,” he also said.
“Despite this, we have investigated the matter and independent inquiry teams are sitting as we welcome that that facts should be dug down,” the minister said adding that they were not sitting idle. He said that the solution to the problems did not lie with the suspension of the team or lower level workers. “We will undertake root-cause analysis and improvement in the system will be brought wherever needed.”
“With due apology, our colleagues are either using selective memory or twisting facts or they are avoiding the facts,” Omar said while criticising the opposition. He added that this power breakdown happened for “eight times in the last five years of PML-N government” and it had taken very much time to get the power restored even after a partial breakdown. “We got the system energized in three hours in Peshawar and other places while the whole country was energized in eight hours,” he said adding that the power had restored in the entire country till 8 am next morning on last Sunday.
Earlier, the Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the House Senator Sherry Rehman taking part in the debate said that the entire country was facing an unprecedented gas crisis. She said that the inquiry about the power breakdown under the NEPRA (National Electric Power Regulatory Authority) was unacceptable for the government because federal government used to make appointments made in authority. “We reject this fake inquiry,” she said adding that the government should explain why the power sector is collapsing. Before this, Adviser to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan told the House that the government was ready to bring any kind of reforms in the country’s legal, judicial and accountability system but no NRO like deal would be given to anyone.
Responding to the criticism of Deputy Chairman Senate Salim Mandviwalla over National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the adviser said that the accountability institutions would not be “closed down by locking them” and handing over their keys to anyone.