LAHORE/GUJRANWALA/ISLAMABAD - Prolonged and unscheduled power outages continued to irk the routine life as well as trade activities in various cities of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday forcing the citizens and traders to come on to the streets whereas Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf took strong exception to the long hours of load shedding in many areas of the country during the last two days despite the fact that the power generation in the country had gone up to around 14, 000 MW but the people were still facing a high level of load shedding.
The prime minister made this observation during a high level meeting of Energy Committee at the PM House on Tuesday which was attended by Minister for Water and Power Ch Ahmed Mukhtar, Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira as well as the secretaries of relevant ministries. Hundreds of enraged protestors in different cities including Lahore, Gujranwala, Jhang, Multan, Mansehra, Balakot and other areas of both provinces held protest demonstrations against 15-20 hours of load shedding which has made life miserable for them.
The citizens in Gujranwala criticised the government for not fulfilling their promises of eliminating load shedding in the month of Ramadan. The government has gifted Gujranwala with increased load shedding in the month of Ramadan, Asim Azeem, a resident of Fareed Town, said while talking to Pakistan Today and added that it was very difficult for the inhabitants of the area to take full part in the religious activities as beside high temperatures of July load shedding was making life miserable.
In Lahore, power supply to various parts of the city remained suspended owing to technical fault in the heavy transmission lines near Kala Shah Kaku area which is a great trouble for the masses during the holy month of Ramadan. Sources said that electricity was suspended to areas including Gawalmandi, Gulberg, Model Town and Ravi Road. Moreover, power supply was also cut to Green Town, Garhi Shahu, Samanabad, Ichhra and Baghbanpura. The protesters burnt tyres and chanted slogans against the government. They said that they were compelled to stage the protests as long and unscheduled power load shedding had turned their lives bitter. They said that even during sehar and iftar there was no power supply. The traffic remained jammed for several hours in various cities due to tyres burning and big hurdles placed by the enraged protestors. In a surprise move, the prime minister left the meeting, along with the all the participants of the meeting, and paid a surprise visit, without protocol, to National Power Control Centre (NPCC), Islamabad, to ascertain exact position of power generation and its distribution.