The bar council has taken the power ministry to court
It is the year 2021 and the Makran division in Balochistan is not connected to the national grid. Where does it get its electricity from? Iran.
These are some of the facts that were presented to the Balochistan High Court that is hearing a petition filed by the Balochistan Bar Council against the Ministry of Water and Power, Islamabad. The petition is being heard by a division bench comprising Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Justice Abdul Hameed Baloch.
The court was told by Gwadar Chief Engineer Hasan Ali Magsi that before 2002, diesel-powered power houses were operating in Mand, Tump, Turbat, Panjgur, Gwadar, Jiwani, Pushkan, Pasni, Kalmat and Ormara and their supply was enough for this area. But today, except for the one at Kalmat, all the power houses are inactive.
And since the Makran division is not connected to the national grid, it cannot receive power from that end. According to his information, the project to supply electricity to Makran from the national grid was approved but no progress has been made so far. And so, Makran is actually being supplied power only from Iran.
The Government of Pakistan had signed an agreement with Iran in 2001 to supply 100MW of electricity to Makran division. A few months ago, however, due to a technical glitch, the supply from Iran was cut off, which caused a power crisis and badly affected the people of the area.
It was only two days ago that the power from Iran was restored. The people are receiving 90MW, which has reduced the load shedding hours.
Magsi told the court that China has planned to build a power house in Gwadar to generate 300MW from coal. A feasibility study was carried out for solar energy power stations for Makran but it was not implemented.
He said that wind power could also be considered. Makran is along the coast and could harness this option.
The court then issued directives for the Ministry of Power and Water to appoint an informed officer to appear. It also summoned the Secretary for Energy in Balochistan, the chief executive of Habibullah Power Project,
It wants Qesco CEO Muhammad Arif to appear in person with updates on the power supply and load shedding and solutions.
The court fixed September 23, 2021 for the next hearing.