LAHORE - With the summer making itself at home and humidity climbing up the percentage chart, continued unannounced load shedding is wreaking havoc with the people’s peace of mind, forcing them to lie awake at nights and find shade during the days in wait for that elusive “spark” of electricity.
The duration of load shedding has increased in the last couple of days owing to the suspension of oil supply to various power plants.
Sources in the National Transmission and Despacth Company (NTDC) said the supply of oil had been suspended to Kot Addu, Orient and Saif power plants, adding that due to technical faults, Foundation power plant had dropped out of the system, resulting in the electricity shortfall climbing to 5,830 megawatts. NTDC said the production of electricity was recorded at 12,570MW and demand at 18,507MW on Tuesday.
However, PEPCO said electricity generation currently stood at 13,230MW against a demand of 18,507MW. Load shedding continued for up to 14 to 16 hours in Lahore and up to 16 to 20 hours in rural areas in the provincial metropolis’ suburbs. The federal capital was also subjected to severe power cuts. Residents, traders and civil society expressed serious concern over the unannounced load shedding in various sectors of Islamabad, with some facing three to eight hours of load shedding at a go. Traders said load shedding was affecting businesses, while residents said unannounced load shedding had made it impossible to get a good night’s sleep.
Taking notice of the worsening crisis, President Asif Ali Zardari again ordered emergency measures for mitigating the people’s misery. A high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Pervaiz Ashraf decided to clear the circular debt and enhance recoveries from defaulters. It also decided to immediately cut power connections of companies and individuals who were not paying their bills. Finance Minister Abdul Hafiz Shaikh gave a briefing on the financial issues, while Petroleum Minister Dr Asim explained the reasons for low power generation.