Pakistan introduces two weekly offs to save energy

22:15, April 22, 2010      

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Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani Thursday announced wide-ranging conservation measures to deal with the growing energy crisis as some 4500 MW electricity shortfall has badly affected the country's economy and business community.

The measures include two weekly off days for three months for government workers, staggered industrial closure for one day a week, closure of markets at sunset, partial diversion of gas from industry to power generation and payment of 116 billion rupees ( about 1.4 billion U.S. dollars) to power companies to reduce energy crisis.

"These steps area aimed at giving relief to the people," the prime minister told a news conference as protest against power outage continued in several cities on Thursday.

The measures were announced at the conclusion of two-day high level meeting in Islamabad. The meeting was attended by chief ministers of four provinces and top officials from the federal government.

The energy conservation measures agreed to reduce energy demand by about 2400MW and speed up implementation of 1125MW of already approved rental power projects (RPPs) and fast-track completion of another 2100MW of independent power projects (IPPs) within eight months.

Pakistani Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf told the news conference that all the energy conservation recommendations will be reviewed after every 15 days.

The capital Islamabad daily observes up to five hours loadshedding while other main cities do not receive electricity for up to 15 hours in 24 hours.

The prime minister said that unscheduled loadshedding will be ended and there will be a 33 percent reduction in the current loadshedding after the fresh conservation measures.

"It is responsibility how to steer the country out of energy crisis," the prime minister said, adding that his government can not afford economic instability in the country.

Other conservation measures include closure of market at 08:00 p.m. local time, air conditions will not be used before 11:00 a.m. local time, in all government offices including President and Prime Minister's offices. There will be 50 percent reduction in the use of lights and no power supply to billboards, sign boards, and commercial decorated boards.

"I appeal to the nation to show patience in the crisis time," Gilani said.

Source: Xinhua


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