LAHORE: The unwanted genie of load-shedding has managed to escape from its bottle once again as there were unscheduled power outages throughout the city on Tuesday. There were frequent outages in almost every part of the provincial capital.
A number of citizens complained that these breakdowns had become a matter of routine over the past few of days after the rise in temperature. They said unscheduled load-shedding was affecting routine life activity.
Mrs Khan, a mother of two, pointed out that her children’s annual examinations were around the corner. According to her, the timing could not be worse for the Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) to increase these outages. “For the past couple of days, there is no fixed schedule for load-shedding, which is badly affecting the children’s study routine. They can neither sleep nor study in the scorching summer heat due to the outages,” she maintained.
Muhammad Shahzad, a trader, stated the rise in breakdowns was hurting his business activity. “Earlier, the rulers claimed they would permanently end load-shedding in six months, but still cannot provide even the slightest relief in four years. They are about to complete their term, but business and industry in the country are still suffering through crippling power outages,” he complained.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) central leader Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar underscored that Pakistan could not flourish in the presence of the current energy crisis and corruption. “Increase in breakdowns was a result of mismanagement and bad governance. Billions of rupees worth of gas and electricity is being stolen from the system, but the government never takes any action to control the pilferage,” he asserted. “It is also a big question mark over the performance of utility companies,” he maintained.
Sarwar further stated the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources had confessed that around Rs8 billion worth of gas was being stolen every year. “The country’s trade and industry was suffering eight to ten hours of load shedding, but rulers are still making hollow claims of good governance.” He underlined that the country needed a loyal leadership to rein in the energy crisis. PTI MPA Shunila Ruth stressed Federal and State Ministers for Water and Power, Khawaja Asif and Abid Sher Ali, are trying to mislead the whole nation by giving new dates to end load-shedding.
Official data made available shows that with the rise in mercury level, electricity shortfall once again crossed 5,500 MW as the energy demand surpassed 17,000 MW. A Lesco official disclosed that the company was facing a 1,300 MW electricity shortfall in the provincial capital. He indicated that power demand in Lahore was touching 3,500MW and company was getting just 2,200 MW from the national grid.
A Lesco spokesperson, meanwhile, said some area which faced three hours of load shedding were now going through six hours without power. He added it was difficult to meet demand in this harsh weather.