06272017Headline:

Generating more Mega Watts will not solve the load shedding problem: Abdul Q Kundi

PML-N government and before that PPP government were unimaginative and unable to coup with load shedding issue prevalent in the country for last one decade. Both these governments focused on the power generation and facilitated their conglomerate friends that are engaged in this business. The circular debt was paid to all these rich friends without basically solving the load shedding crisis. I am not proposing there is an easy solution to load shedding but it is also not an impossible one to solve despite spending trillions of Rupees.

Load shedding issue has economic, management and social dimensions which have to be addressed to find a holistic solution. The Economic issue relates to proper planning to estimate need and allocate resources to ensure availability. Management issues related to developing an efficient organizational structure of managing generation, distribution & billing. Generation is in the hands of both public and private sector while distribution and billing are localized. There seems to be a conflict of authority between federal and provincial governments. Federal government blames provincial governments for lack of support to collect bills. In last ten years improving distribution and billing has been ignored which resulted in still high load shedding despite adding more generation capacity. Lastly, the citizens are also to blame that engaged in electricity theft. I have personally seen many madrassah’s stealing electricity in villages as well as citizens and some industrial units. In other words, religious scholars that should guide and educate people about not stealing electricity are themselves involved in it. People steal electricity because the cost of it is very high for them to afford it. Secondly, they believe if rich can steal big money it is their right to get free electricity.

Before I end let me share an interesting story I heard during general election 2013. During a visit to a village, I had met with an elder of a village. I asked him what are the issues faced by them. He mentioned load shedding as one of the issues. In response, I told him how can any government provide electricity when people in the village steal electricity. I pointed to the kundas that were visible from his hujra. He agreed and said that he used to steal electricity himself but his family was inflicted was sickness throughout the period he was engaged in it. So he stopped doing it and health returned to the family. So the moral of the story is that all these stealings and corruption going in government contracts and by citizens has made the nation sick. We all need to review our lives and try to live more honestly for the nation to become healthy again both economically, socially and spiritually.

Author: Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi, former member of PTI Chairman Advisory Committee & Central Tarbiyati COuncil. He is author of three books Islamic Social Contract, Lessons from Quran, and Freedom by Choice.

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