Maintaining equity among the nationals; High Court seeks power outages schedule for VVIPs

Lahore: (Thursday, December 29, 2011) while following up his earlier orders, the Lahore High Court Chief Justice yesterday, once again sought schedule for electricity outages for the VVIPs, including president, prime minister,
governor, chief minister and ministers. While persuading with the notice, the court has ordered WAPDA and electricity distribution companies in Punjab to submit schedule by January 19.

The judge also admonished a deputy attorney general (ADG) and pointed out that the court had, on October 4, had directed him to furnish the same schedule but the respondents failed to comply with the order. He warned that the court
would appoint a local commission to seek loadshedding schedule if the government again failed to obey the orders by the next hearing.

The judge was hearing a petition, seeking a restraining order for Wapda and electricity distribution companies not to hold power loadshedding management sharing plan. Muhammad Azhar Siddique, who filed the petition, argued that the government had failed to
supply uninterrupted electricity to hospitals, whether federal, provincial or private, especially in the ongoing season when rivers were full of water and there was no shortfall technically in production of the electricity. He alleged that the government was
not paying payments/outstanding to the independent power producers (IPPs) and they were not producing electricity which was a violation of fundamental rights of the people.

The petitioner said that it was a proven fact that the people were facing gas loadshedding for no reason and now electricity shortfall, again for no reason. He pointed out that the government was ‘illegally’ collecting fuel adjustment charges, equalization
surcharge and others but failed to provide uninterrupted electricity to citizens.

The lawyer pleaded that Wapda and all Discos in the province be restrained from carrying out loadshedding, especially in hospitals. He also prayed to the court that the uninterrupted electricity supply to the VVIPs, including the president, PM, governor, chief
minister and ministers, be declared violation of Article 25 of the Constitution.

Hearing another petition, the chief justice issued notices to the federal government for Jan 19 and sought a reply about the cost of electricity production, and amount being collected from consumers in the name of fuel adjustment, EQ (Equalization) and Neelum-Jhelum