Still in the Pipeline

Many new varieties and versions of abuses are expected from KESC, WAPDA and other power generation institutions in the coming days. Protests, sometimes violent, will be the most common street theaters. Engineers and technocrats will come up with different suggestions and figures for tackling electricity crisis. And the common denominator for all this chaos will be LOADSHEDDING.

The only thing we won’t do will be to use the available resources. People of Thar are facing famine, but there is no way we would begin with our Thar Coal Project. The Chairman’s seat of Planning and Development Commission remains vacant because no one is eligible for the post; those who are eligible and competent are not interested. Because of this vacancy, no concrete and long-term power project is being planned and developed. Government is trying to cure cancer with aspirin. Small Projects like Pakistan Model Power Park at Gaddani are inaugurated by Government are appreciable, but they are nothing near to fulfilling the demand supply gap.Iran Pakistan Gas Pipeline

On the other side, Pakistan is still looking for someone to finance the construction of its side of pipeline; Iran has already constructed its side. Neither IMF nor EU is ready to finance because of sanctions on Iran. Tehran has also turned down our request for financing our construction on the Pakistani side. Remember, if Pakistan didn’t construct it by the end of this year, it will turn into a near impossible task. We will face penalty as per agreement.

In these hard times, our trust worthy friend China has promised to do business with us and the volume of the business is $20 billion. They will mainly be investing in power and energy sector. But this deal makes me wonder why our governmental officials aren’t showing some proactive approach by asking China to invest a couple of billions in this project. This way, we would be able to recover from shortage of natural resources. To overcome the energy crisis, separate planning is required for short-term, mid-term and long-term. In other words, all 5Ws (what, where, when, who, why), and 1H (how) need to be addressed.

We also need to think of changing realities, the unequal and unplanned distribution of natural resources will not only deplete them but wipe them off. If things are to be changed, we need a major revamp of thinking and policy.

Saddam Siddiqui

The author is a diehard cricket enthusiast and has worked for promotion of cricket at both personal and professional levels.

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