LAHORE: (APP) State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali has said that the total power production in the country would reach 26,000 megawatts and load-shedding be reduced to the minimum by the end of 2018.
Talking to the media during his visit to the 1223 Combined Cycle Power plant at Balloki on Monday, he said the PML-N government under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had reduced the load-shedding from 18-20 hours to mere 4-6 hours after it assumed power, adding that the load-shedding duration will be further reduced.
With an allusion to the political leadership in power in the KPK, he said the PML-N would hold a sit-in against 'those involved in ball-tempering', adding that health, education, motorways and dams projects will be launched by the federal government. The state minister said the PML-N government would contest the case of exploitation of KPK people on the political front.
Abid Sher Ali said the PML-N government would sweep the next general election in the country by virtue of its performance and form governments in Sindh and KPK provinces as well.
The state minister said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif's government had been endeavoring to overcome energy crisis in the country, adding that electricity projects were being completed in the minimum time and expenditure.
About the Balloki project, he said the power projects like the Balloki take minimum 40 months for completion across the world but this project had been completed in the record minimum time, adding that the price of the electricity unit will be recorded low of 4 rupees per unit instead of 9.84 rupees.
He said the average electricity price of the lelectricity in the country has fallen considerably due to the cheaper energy projects in the country.
He said the Balloki power project would start producing 380 MW by September, adding that the project will yield full production by the start of January 2018. The minister said the government had been paying to the IPPs on regular basis.
To a question, Abid Sher said 90 per cent land had been acquired for the Diamer Bhasha Dam and the work on the Bhasha dam would start by the end of 2017. He said Neelum Jhelum hydro Power Project would work to its full capacity by May 2018, adding that the first turbine will start work this year and produce 250 MW electricity.
To another question, he said why Sharjeel Memon had to resign from his ministry and served three year exile in a froeign land, adding that our detractors were wary of the development and welfare projects of the PML-N government. He said the trial of those who sold film CDs and film tickets in black-market.
Regarding water scarcity in dams, the minister said the PPP should give up playing Sindh card for political gains, adding that IRSA is responsible for all matters regarding dmas in the country.
Later, State Minister Abid Sher Ali visited different parts of the power plant.