Iraq announces exceptional measures to improve electricity
The Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said Friday that exceptional measures were being taken to improve electricity supplies across the country, by increasing generation capacity by 250 megawatts, DPA reported.
Al-Shahristani, who took control of the electricity portfolio after the electricity minister resigned, said that the increase was due to the operation of plants in the southern city of Nasiriyah, as well as reducing power allocated for officials.
"We have decided to remove all emergency lines for officials and rich citizens, in cooperation with the security forces, and we have started from the Green Zone in central Baghdad," al-Shahristani told reporters.
Locals have complained that a huge amount of power is allocated for the Green Zone, the heavily fortified administrative area in central Baghdad, which does not suffer from power cuts at all, while the rest of city suffers from chronic power shortages.
Al-Shahristani also said that it had been agreed with the ministry of industry to reduce power load in industrial facilities in order to provide more electricity without halting production.
"These measures do not resolve the problem of electricity shortages but will help to alleviate the suffering of the people," he added.
Al-Shahristani was assigned control of the Electricity Ministry until a new national government can be formed. Former minister of electricity Karim Wahid resigned from the post on Monday, following violent protests against power cuts which have stretched over 20 hours a day in some places.
Iraq's parliament, elected on March 7, has not yet been able to form a new government for the country.